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Critical Infrastructure News

Following the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2019 Section 889 and the ban of cameras and components made by certain Chinese companies, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a rule to ban products from Chinese electronics companies. 

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said, “We are taking direct action to exclude untrusted equipment and vendors from communications networks.” 

According to the FCC, the proposed rule aims to guard against potential threats to the supply chain of equipment and services within the U.S. and seeks to protect communications networks. In addition to the proposal to ban Chinese-owned security equipment, the “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry” seeks comment on possible changes to the competitive bidding rules for auctions to protect national security. 

Specifically, the FCC is seeking comment on prohibiting all future authorizations of communications equipment that has been determined to pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security, as identified on the Covered List published by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.  The list includes telecommunication and video technologies from the following: Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, and Dahua Technology Company.

Read More: Security Mag

Scientists have known for decades that an extreme solar storm, or coronal mass ejection, could damage electrical grids and potentially cause prolonged blackouts. The repercussions would be felt everywhere from global supply chains and transportation to Internet and GPS access. Less examined until now, though, is the impact such a solar emission could have on Internet infrastructure specifically. New research shows that the failures could be catastrophic, particularly for the undersea cables that underpin the global Internet.

At the SIGCOMM 2021 data communication conference on Thursday, Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi of the University of California, Irvine presented "Solar Superstorms: Planning for an Internet Apocalypse," an examination of the damage a fast-moving cloud of magnetized solar particles could cause the global Internet. Abdu Jyothi's research points out an additional nuance to a blackout-causing solar storm: the scenario where even if power returns in hours or days, mass Internet outages persist.

There's some good news upfront. Abdu Jyothi found that local and regional Internet infrastructure would be at low risk of damage even in a massive solar storm, because optical fiber itself isn't affected by geomagnetically induced currents. Short cable spans are also grounded very regularly. But for long undersea cables that connect continents, the risks are much greater. A solar storm that disrupted a number of these cables around the world could cause a massive loss of connectivity by cutting countries off at the source, even while leaving local infrastructure intact. It would be like cutting flow to an apartment building because of a water main break.

Read more: Ars Technica

Rescuers set out in hundreds of boats and helicopters to reach people trapped by floodwaters and utility crews mobilized Monday after a furious Hurricane Ida swamped the Louisiana coast and made a shambles of the electrical grid in the sticky, late-summer heat.

One of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the U.S. mainland weakened into a tropical storm overnight as it pushed inland over Mississippi with torrential rain and shrieking winds, its danger far from over.

Ida was blamed for at least one death — someone hit by a falling tree outside Baton Rouge. But with many roads impassable and cellphone service knocked out in places, the full extent of its fury was still coming into focus.

The governor’s office said damage to the power grid appeared “catastrophic.” And officials warned it could be weeks before power is fully restored.

Read more: AP News

The White House said Friday it has called on a veteran transportation official to serve as a new “envoy” to the nation’s ports as the Biden administration seeks to unknot supply chains that have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new envoy, John D. Porcari, previously served as deputy transportation secretary in the Obama administration. He was an adviser to President Biden before his inauguration, and some labor leaders had hoped he might be chosen as transportation secretary.

In the envoy role, Porcari will work with a White House task force and the Department of Transportation to help get goods flowing freely across oceans and around the country. The pandemic has led to rolling closures of factories and ports around the world, disrupting finely calibrated supply chains, slowing shipments and contributing to rising prices in the United States.

The ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, key links with Asia, have been especially affected with ships waiting offshore and cargo sometimes sitting for almost two weeks to be transferred to a rail car.

Read more: WashPost

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating after a York regional police drone collided with an airplane approaching Buttonville Airport in Markham last week.

Police confirmed to CityNews they had deployed a Remote Piloted Vehicle (RPV), known more commonly as a drone, as part of an investigation near the airport on August 10.

While it was being operated, the drone collided with a Cessna 172 operated by Canadian Flyers International that was attempting to land. There was an instructor and student pilot on board.

No injuries were reported and the plane was able to land without any further incidents.

In the report to Transport Canada, which was submitted eight days after the incident on August 18, it said the drone had unauthorized entry to a “controlled airspace.”

Read more: CityNews