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State, federal agencies stay vigilant amid reported cyber attacks


Law enforcement agencies across the country received a safety bulletin Wednesday from the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security warning that Iran could make steps in the immediate-term to attack the US in cyberspace.

Paul Fennewald, a former Missouri homeland security coordinator, said such threats should serve as a reminder to use common cyber-security habits.

"We need to do some basic due diligence," said Fennewald. "Ensure that you have secure passwords and that you don't click on unknown email links. These are basic things to do day-in and day-out."

A bulletin released Monday by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency outlines Iran's threat profile, methods and advised countermeasures.

Local, state and federal agencies utilize "fusion centers" in all 50 states and U.S. territories that "serve as focal points in states and major urban areas for the receipt, analysis, gathering and sharing of threat-related information between State, Local, Tribal and Territorial (SLTT), federal and private sector partners."

There are three state-owned and operated centers in Missouri:

Capt. John Hotz with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said the partnership between different levels of law enforcement and public safety doesn't only exist during U.S.-involved military action overseas.

"The Patrol continually works with federal, state and local partners when it comes to homeland security," said Hotz. "The patrol also has a zone terrorism trooper in each zone around the state."

The patrol and all law enforcement agencies continually encourage citizens to report anything suspicious or dangerous.

The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security's website features the preferred method for issuing such reports.

International News / Missouri / Terror Watch / Terrorism / Top Stories / Top Stories
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Joe McLean

Joe reports stories all across mid-Missouri, including our WasteBusters series of reports, and co-anchors ABC 17 News at 9 a.m. with Zara Barker.


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