USFA Warns Against Overseas E-Mail Inquiries

The CIPC recently learned that fire and/or EMS departments on the East Coast have received electronic mail from foreign universities requesting information about how their department is organized, trained, and equipped. The individuals are also asking for the identification or locations of major response routes.

Such contacts by anyone who does NOT have “the need to know” should be considered highly suspicious and potentially dangerous. However, before hastily deleting the message, departments are urged to immediately send a facsimile of the correspondence to the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) at: 202-323-2079.

NIPC also welcomes e-mail to: nipc.watch@fbi.gov. Alternatively, contact the local FBI office (www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm). When communicating with the FBI, always ask for further directions regarding the proper disposition of the suspicious message.

Only with the knowledge and evidence of these messages can the FBI Terrorism Task Force efficiently investigate whether or not the message senders have treacherous intentions.

America’s adversaries continue to aggressively collect information about the plans, training, and operations of national, state, and local critical infrastructures. Websurfing, electronic mail, and telephone calls are the most common methods they employ to conduct “sensitive information mining.”

Therefore, all emergency first responders must be alerted to guard against unauthorized data collection and quickly report it when it occurs. Failure to prevent unsanctioned information sharing could unintentionally assist the criminal activities of those who desire to harm our nation.

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