Islamic State recruiters groom children much the way pedophiles do—deploying flattery and attention while pretending to be friends, according to people who study the phenomenon. That’s the grim message of an article in the Washington Post describing how, in Germany at least, the threat presented by the Islamic State is taking on a new form: child terrorists either directly in contact with or inspired by the militant group. The youths are then asked to stay in their home countries and strike targets with whatever weapons are available, such as knives and crude bombs.
Recruiters use propaganda tailor-made for youths, including graphic videos showing children executing prisoners and a computer game inspired by “Grand Theft Auto.” They carefully monitor children who visit their propaganda sites or enter radical chat rooms, evaluating who may be suitable for cultivation. Their targets are often at-risk children who suffer from psychological disorders or live in broken or violent homes. The article notes that intelligence officials lack the legal authority to track children, creating what German authorities describe as one of their greatest counterterrorism challenges. READ MORE
Could your webcam be used in a cyberattack? Researchers have discovered more than 178 million Internet of Things (IoT) devices visible to attackers in the 10 largest U.S. cities. The team found webcams, network-attached storage (NAS) devices, routers, printers, mobile devices and medical products, among others, that were visible through a search engine used to discover devices that are accessible from the Internet. Having millions of devices with open ports and viewing potential can leave them exposed to cyberattacks and use in DDoS attacks. READ MORE
Illness in NYC spread through exposure to rat urine: New York City is investigating three recent cases, one fatal, of a rare disease transmitted through rat urine that have occurred in the Bronx, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. This is the first time a cluster of the cases of the disease, leptospirosis, has been identified, according to an alert issued by the department. READ MORE
Are antibiotic prescribing guidelines working? An updated Cochrane Review found that interventions to improve antibiotic prescribing in hospitals result in better compliance with prescribing guidelines, reduced duration of antibiotic treatment, and shorter hospital stays without any impact on mortality—but they could have a greater impact if they used the most effective strategies. READ MORE
Take food defense outside your four walls: In the food industry, the goal of current risk-based thinking is to find the weakest link in the process, evaluate the risk and likelihood of a threat to food safety, and control the risk. Unlike the Preventive Controls rule and the FSVP rule, the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Food Defense rule focuses on the processes occurring in a facility and does not take into account the processes involved in the supply chain. Writing in Food Safety Tech magazine, Elise Forward challenges the industry to look beyond a facility’s walls, taking a whole business approach and applying the principals of food defense to all aspects of a business. READ MORE