Report lists homegrown terror, cyber attacks as greatest threats to Maine


Homegrown extremists, lone offenders and cyber-attacks are among the top threats to Maine, the Maine Information and Analysis Center said in its 2018 Maine State Threat Assessment.

The annual report identifies international, national and state threats like terrorism and cyber terrorism.

Most importantly, the report said there are no credible terror threats to the state of Maine, but there is the threat that homegrown terrorists may take advantage of the state's rural geography. The report also said Maine, like all other states, is susceptible to cyber threats.

While there is no evidence home-grown terrorists are in Maine, the report said because Maine is close to larger cities, a terrorist could visit a larger city and then return to Maine "where detection by state, local and federal law enforcement is minimized."

Two Maine-based homegrown violent extremists have been radicalized and have traveled overseas in the past five years, the report said.

One Lewiston man traveled back and forth to Minnesota and then joined ISIS in Syria, the report said. Another man came to Maine as a refugee in 2009 from Iran and was killed while fighting for ISIS in January 2015.

The center expects cyber threats to continue "for the foreseeable future," with attacks targeting Maine municipality, water and power systems.

The report cites two cases where the Auburn Water and Sewer District was the victim of a ransomware attack. Both attacks happened in last summer. No ransom was paid, and the victim was able to recover most of the information, the report said.

In April 2018, a local municipality's network was compromised by ransom case, but no personal information was compromised. The municipality was not named in the report.



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