OEC Outreach Clips: November Winter Institute, Workshop to Address NG 9-1-1, FirstNet Experiences, Source Mission Critical Communications

The Fourth Winter Institute at Disaster City in College Station, Texas, is scheduled Nov. 15 – 17.  Concurrent to the Winter Institute is a workshop that helps public-safety professionals host an exercise in their home states. As a part of the workshop, attendees spend time in the field at the Disaster City exercise.  “This workshop will not only show you the value of such an exercise but it will also describe to you how obtain access to the network, devices and applications making an exercise a possibility in your state,” said Walt Magnussen, director of Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC). November Winter Institute, Workshop to Address NG 9-1-1, FirstNet Experiences

OEC Outreach Clips: U.S. calls on automakers to make cyber security a priority, Source Reuters

Automakers should make shielding the electronic and computer systems of vehicles from hackers a priority, developing layers of protection that can secure a vehicle throughout its life, U.S. regulators said on Monday.  The cyber security guidelines issued by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are recommendations, not enforceable rules. However, they mark a step toward establishing a road map for industry behavior as lawmakers and consumers pressure automakers to show how they will protect increasingly connected and automated vehicles from cyber attacks. U.S. calls on automakers to make cyber security a priority

OEC Outreach Clips: Why securing IoT is a national-security imperative, Source IAPP.org

Like any other weekday, last Friday I grabbed a cup of coffee and activated my computer to see the latest world news cascade down my Twitter feed. But unlike an average day, Twitter was down. Mild discomfort settled in.  Social media addiction aside, it turns out a huge swath of popular websites — from CNN to Github to Paypal to reddit — were down for users in the eastern part of the U.S. The culprit, as we probably should expect by now, was a massive Distributed Denial of Service attack, and it came in two waves. The second was even more powerful, affecting users on the West Coast as well.  So what’s the lesson we should all learn from this attack? Why securing IoT is a national-security imperative

OEC Outreach Clips: DHS Says Massive DDoS Attack Against Dyn Has Been Mitigated, Source Homeland Security Today

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) believes the series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that disrupted major websites across the US East Coast on Friday have been mitigated. The attacks targeted Dyn, a New Hampshire-based Internet performance management company.  A DDoS attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming the targeted system with data. Users reported on Friday they had trouble accessing a number of popular websites, such as Twitter, Reddit, and Spotify.  Kyle York, chief strategy officer for Dyn, said the attacks came in three waves, first hitting the East Coast and later spreading westward. DHS Says Massive DDoS Attack Against Dyn Has Been Mitigated

Andy Sebyold’s Public Safety Advocate, October 27, 2016

Politics and FirstNet This past week the National Governor’s Association (NGA) sent the states a draft of a document addressed to FirstNet that will tell FirstNet and the selected partner vendor how they are to deal with the states. This includes keeping the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) in the loop at all times to ensure the governor receives the best possible information to determine whether the state will opt in or out. When I looked at the distribution list the NGA used to send this to the various states, I noticed it included everyone in the chain except the SPOCs! Perhaps the NGA should follow its own advice!

Public Safety community members I am hearing from are becoming more and more concerned that politics will play an unfortunate role in the future of FirstNet. The first issue on the table is to make sure all states are treated fairly and receive the same considerations for the plans. If states think a neighboring state is being offered more it could create an issue that could make the opt-in/opt-out decision more complex than whether FirstNet is being responsive to their needs. Next is the disconnect between many states and local jurisdictions. Many locals feel they have been left out of the loop. In one state I attended a number of meetings where the state and FirstNet were presenting, but the state made no comments about receiving input from the various local agencies. There is also an interesting political twist to this. In a recent survey of states and cities, it was found that in many cases the state government is heavy with members of one political party and the city or county is heavy with the other party. This could easily cause further issues between states and jurisdictions and impact the process and progress of FirstNet.

Will states include local jurisdictions in the approval process when FirstNet and the partner provide each state with a “state plan?” One issue with the opt-in/opt-out timing is that states don’t have much time so perhaps the notion of consulting with locals won’t be pursued. However, at the end of the day, it is the locals who are the major system customers. Common sense says that in order to build a successful network your customers have to be happy with the results. The last thing the Public Safety community needs is a network that is built and not fully utilized by local jurisdictions because it does not provide coverage where it is needed. I, for one, do not expect every jurisdiction in every state to be happy with the coverage on day one, but I do expect that over time coverage will be expanded to meet their requirements. Continue reading

OEC Outreach Clips: FirstNet Won’t Make Nov. 1 RFP Target Award Date, Source Mission Critical Communications

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) said it will not award a partner for its request for proposals (RFP) acquisition process by Nov. 1. “FirstNet will continue to execute the acquisition process outlined in the RFP beyond the Nov. 1 target date for the award,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth in a blog. “From the outset, FirstNet set an aggressive schedule for the procurement, knowing that the timing of the award would depend on many factors given its significance and complexity, some of which are outside our control,” Poth said. FirstNet Won’t Make Nov. 1 RFP Target Award Date

OEC Outreach Clips: DHS S&T Signs Contract for Flood Information, Response Tool, Source Mission Critical Communications

Michael Baker International and the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Foundation announced a contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) to develop national guidelines and a solution that provides first responders with real-time information prior to and during emergencies. DHS S&T Signs Contract for Flood Information, Response Tool

OEC Outreach Clips: FCC Cracks Down on Part 22 Construction Requirements, Source Mission Critical Communications

Last week, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) issued an order denying requests to extend the construction deadlines for certain Part 22 paging licenses held by Intelligent Transportation & Monitoring Wireless, Skybridge Spectrum Foundation and V2G — licenses previously controlled by Warren Havens. In doing so, the FCC ruled that the licensees had not met their construction obligations and terminated the licenses as of the construction deadline, Nov. 3, 2015. The decision was notable in that it impacted more than 2,100 licenses held by the three licensees. FCC Cracks Down on Part 22 Construction Requirements

OEC Outreach Clips: Alabama delays timeline for statewide public-safety LTE procurement until after national FirstNet announcement, Source Urgent Communications

State of Alabama officials have decided to extend the deadline for vendors to submit proposals to build a statewide public-safety LTE radio access network (RAN) that would be integrated with the national FirstNet system, if the governor chooses to pursue the opt-out alternative to FirstNet deploying the system within the state’s borders. The new submission deadline is 15 business days after the announcement of the FirstNet nationwide award. Alabama delays timeline for statewide public-safety LTE procurement until after national FirstNet announcement


Please see the following NCCIC/NCC Watch Request for Information (RFI) 027 for the recent TDoS attack on PSAPS in multiple states. RFI Time: 12:30 p.m. EDT

INFORMATION REQUESTED: The NCCIC/NCC Watch is requesting any known information associated with the recent TDoS attack against PSAPS in multiple states.  The TDoS against the PSAPs was distributed/propagated through a Twitter mobile application. Once the users clicked on the link in the Twitter application the phone would initiate a E9-1-1 call to their local PSAP.

The NCCIC/NCC Watch will follow up on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. EDT with an NCCIC/NCC Watch Advisory summarizing all reported feedback.

INCIDENT LOCATION: Known impacted PSAPs in Texas and California. We suspect this could have impacted PSAPs across the nation.

KNOWN CAUSE(S): Man-made

DURATION: Approximately 10:00 p.m. on October 25, 2016 – 2:00 a.m. on October 26, 2016 local incident time.

CURRENT ACTIONS: The NCC Watch will continue to monitor the situation for impact(s) to communications infrastructure and services.

National Coordinating Center for Communications – COMM-ISAC National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center Department of Homeland Security Work: COMM/STE: (703) 235-5080 Fax: (703) 235-5078 ncc@hq.dhs.gov