May 13th, 2013
07:13 PM ET

Passport, pressure cooker problematic for traveler

By Todd Sperry

A Saudi man is jailed in Detroit following his arrest over the weekend by authorities who alleged he altered his passport and was not truthful about why he had a pressure cooker in his luggage.

According to a criminal complaint, Al Kwawahir Hussain reportedly could not explain to U.S. Customs officers at Detroit Metropolitan airport why pages were missing from his Saudi passport on Saturday.

He told them only his family had access to it and he kept it locked in a box, and that he was planning on visiting his nephew, according to the court filing.

During followup security screening, customs officers discovered a pressure cooker in his luggage.

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Filed under: Security Brief
July 19th, 2012
06:40 PM ET

Drones vulnerable to being hacked, Congress told

By Todd Sperry

It wouldn't take much effort to hijack a drone over U.S. airspace and use it to commit a crime or act of terrorism, an aerospace engineering expert told a House subcommittee Wednesday.

Todd Humphreys showed members of a House homeland security subcommittee how his research team was able to commandeer an $80,000 drone using store-bought global positioning system (GPS) technology.

Drones, including ones used by police agencies, are vulnerable to hacking because they use unencrypted GPS information for navigation.

"If you can convincingly fake a GPS signal, you can convince an (unmanned aerial vehicle) into tracking your signal instead of the authentic one, and at that point you can control the UAV," said Humphreys, an assistant professor specializing in orbital mechanics at the University of Texas.

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Filed under: Congress • drones
April 16th, 2012
08:05 PM ET

Iran comes to American's rescue

By Todd Sperry

An American who suffered a heart attack last week during a commercial flight from Dubai to Seattle, Washington, is expected to return to the U.S. Tuesday after being treated in Iran, State Department officials told CNN Monday.

He is doing well and is receiving good medical care in Iran, the sources said.

The 52-year-old man from Seattle was on an Emirates flight when the plane declared a medical emergency over Iranian airspace. The flight diverted to Tehran, the capital, according to the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency.

"Despite international sanctions against the Iranian people, which also endanger their lives ... we helped an American citizen in our country," ISNA quoted the public relations chief for Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, Abbas Mosayebi, as saying.

Friday's apparent good will gesture by Iran follows ones by the U.S. This year, the U.S. Navy has reported a string of rescues of stranded Iranian sailors in the Persian Gulf. Last month, the U.S. Navy said it had rescued a survivor from an Iranian cargo vessel that sank in the gulf, killing at least three other crew members.

- CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report.