Feeds

DHS scraps nukes-in-cargo-containers scan plan

We will rely instead on Jack Bauer

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Plans to install nuclear radiation detectors at all US ports of entry have been dropped.

Technical glitches and false alarms with temperamental kit led to a decision to ditch the $1.2bn scheme by Homeland Security officials. Instead of a nationwide rollout, only a few trial deployments of 13 prototypes will now take place: a face-saving move given the millions already ploughed into the programme. Four of the detectors, developed by defence contractor Raytheon, have already been deployed at unspecified locations.

"The [Advanced Spectroscopic Portal] will not proceed as originally envisioned," Warren Stern, director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, told a Congressional Homeland Security technology subcommittee. "We will not seek certification or large-scale deployment of the ASP."

An estimated $230m has been spent over five years to develop equipment capable of detecting radiation in cargo. The project's main aim was to guard against the possibility that terrorists might smuggle nuclear weapons into the US using cargo containers, the sort of scenario that been the staple of shows like 24 for years, and one that US counterterrorism experts still take seriously, despite recent successes in the fight against al Qaeda.

Cargo lorries would have been driven through the portal, which would have detected if anything was amiss, as depicted in a Global Security Newswire story here. However field tests showed that some of the operational requirements set up at the start of the programme were "no longer valid," Stern told Congress.

Doubts about the effectiveness and reliability of the container nuke-detecting kit were first raised in a National Academy of Sciences report released in January. A more recent Government Accountability Office report expressed concerns that the project was running over-budget.

Scaled-back plans call for the use of RadSeeker, a hand-held device, and less sensitive polyvinyl toluene portal monitors. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.