According to the Washington Business Journal, Nuclear Solutions Inc. has won a U.S. patent for technology that will detect shielded nuclear weapons. The D.C.-based company develops technologies for homeland security. (See item 5)
According to the Associated Press a report by The American Association of Railroads issued Thursday concluded that U.S. freight railroads will need $135 billion in infrastructure investment in the next 28 years. The Department of Transportation, whose data was used in the report, predicts that, measured by weight, rail freight transport will increase 88 percent in those 28 years. (See item 21)
42. September 21, Computerworld – (National) Unix admin pleads guilty to planting logic bomb at Medco Health. On Wednesday a former Unix system administrator at Medco Health Solutions Inc.’s Fair Lawn, N.J. office pleaded guilty in federal court to attempting to sabotage critical data -- including individual prescription drug data -- on more than 70 servers. The man, 51, is scheduled to be sentenced on January 8, and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of $250,000. He was one of several systems administrators at Medco who feared they would get laid off when their company was being spun off from drug-maker Merck & Co. in 2003, according to a statement released by federal law enforcement authorities. Apparently angered by the prospect of losing his job, he created a “logic bomb” by modifying existing computer code and inserting new code into Medco's servers. The bomb was originally set to go off on April 23, 2004, the man’s birthday. When it failed to deploy because of a programming error, he reset the logic bomb to deploy on April 23, 2005, despite the fact that he had not been laid off as feared. The bomb was discovered and neutralized in early January 2005, after it was discovered by a Medco computer systems administrator investigating a system error. Had it gone off as scheduled, the malicious code would have wiped out data stored on 70 servers, including one critical server that maintained patient-specific drug interaction information that pharmacists use to determine whether conflicts exist among an individual's prescribed drugs. Also affected would have been information on clinical analyses, rebate applications, billing, new prescription call-ins from doctors, coverage determination applications and employee payroll data.
If the PDF claims are true, it could be bad news for business users, who are used to opening PDF attachments without thinking twice, said the director of security operations with nCircle Network Security Inc. Though some attackers have crafted PDF attacks in recent years, this hacker’s code could also be more effective than typical exploits, the security director added. “Historically, those other exploits have been targeted for specific versions of Adobe Reader,” he said. “According to the information, this affects all versions. It's an inherent architectural problem in the way files are read.”