Monday, June 2, 2008

Daily Report

• The Indy Star reports that air traffic controllers at the Indianapolis Tower Facility at Indianapolis International Airport released statistics they say show an alarming increase in safety mishaps. The tower has reported six “operational errors” this year, on pace to surpass the 12 reported in 2007, the controllers union said. (See item 19)

• The Air Force Times reports that the Fifth Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, has failed its defense nuclear surety inspection, according to a Defense Threat Reduction Agency report. Security broke down on multiple levels during simulated attacks, including against nuclear weapons storage areas. The errors were attributed primarily to lack of supervision and leadership among security forces. (See item 38)

Banking and Finance Sector

11. May 30, WISC 3 Madison – (Wisconsin) Authorities investigate company accused of giving bogus parking tickets. A Madison-based company is the subject of an investigation by state and local officials into reports of area residents getting fake parking tickets. The company, a private security firm, is not authorized to write tickets, WISC-TV reported. Madison and DeForest police, along with the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing, executed search warrants at the headquarters of Metropolitan Protective Services, as well as at the DeForest home of the company’s owners. According to a police news release, authorities said the investigation began after several Madison residents said that they received parking citations on their vehicles. The citations identified the company as Metropolitan Private Police and requested them to send payment to a DeForest PO box. Authorities said that at least two people are involved in the scam. Both cities’ police departments said that motorists should not pay such a ticket, and instead should contact DeForest police. Source:

12. May 29, Associated Press – (National) State Street says personal data has been stolen. Financial services firm State Street Corp. said Thursday the personal data of some employees and customers of Investors Financial Services was stolen from a vendor’s facility, but there is no evidence data has been used. State Street acquired Investors Financial Services, a provider of investment services to hedge funds, in July 2007. Customers and employees of Investors Financial Services are being notified of the data breach, and State Street set up a page on its Web site to provide customers and employees more information. State Street said it will provide those with data stolen free credit monitoring services for two years. Source:

13. May 29, Computerworld – (National) Man charged with using cartoon names to defraud brokerages. A California man was arraigned this week in federal court in Sacramento on multiple counts of computer fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud for allegedly opening 58,000 fake brokerage accounts. He was charged with using false Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and names – even the names of cartoon and comic book characters – to open the accounts. The man used the accounts to steal so-called micro-deposits of a few cents to a few dollars deposited by brokerage firms into new accounts to verify that users can access them. According to documents from the U.S. Department of Justice, the suspect allegedly defrauded ETrade, Charles Schwab & Co. and other businesses using this scheme between November 2007 and May 2008. When the micro-deposits were made, he allegedly transferred or attempted to transfer the funds into his bank accounts and onto prepaid debit cards. This was allegedly done without the companies’ knowledge or authorization. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of California, both ETrade and Charles Schwab detected the alleged fraud and contacted law enforcement. The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the FBI. Source:

Information Technology

41. May 30, Kansas City infoZine – (International) 22 suspected computer hackers arrested in France. According to French media reports, 22 people suspected of running an international hacking gang that broke into business networks in France and overseas were arrested in Paris, southern and central France following a four month investigation involving over 90 members of the police force. The arrested members of the alleged gang are said to be all under 25 years of age, with one reported to be only 13 years old. According to media reports, the gang were members of an internet forum of some 200 hackers where they were seen bragging about their “successes”. Police have said that it is not clear at the moment what the motivation for the hacking was, although some data was reportedly destroyed on company networks. If found guilty of destroying data and degrading network performance in affected companies the hackers could face a maximum of five years in jail. “One of the disturbing facts about this story is that 16 of the 22 people arrested are under 18 years old,” said a senior technology consultant for Sophos, an internet and computer security firm. According to official statements, 34 businesses in France, Iceland and Russia were allegedly affected by the hacking, but at present only seven firms have registered a formal complaint. Source:

42. May 29, Computerworld – (National) Apple patches 40 Mac OS X security bugs. Apple Inc. Wednesday patched 40 security vulnerabilities in more than 25 different components and applications bundled with Mac OS X, including Flash Player, iCal and Apache. The year’s third update fixed fewer than half as many flaws as the previous collection, which Apple issued two months ago to plug nearly 90 holes. Apple tagged 16 of the 40 patches in Wednesday’s update with its “arbitrary code execution” phrasing, putting them into the category most vendors would label “critical.” According to the Security Update 2008-003 advisory, the most-patched components by vulnerability count were Apple’s version of the Apache open-source Web server (eight bugs fixed) and the version of Adobe’s Flash Player that in Mac OS X (seven flaws patched). Source:

Communications Sector

43. May 29, Tampa Bay Business Journal – (Florida) Verizon Wireless hurricane readiness includes $20M area investment. Verizon Wireless has invested more than $150 million in Florida to strengthen and enhance its wireless network since the start of hurricane season in 2007. The enhancements include a $20 million investment in its Tampa Bay switching facility, which doubles its traffic capacity and backup power redundancies, a release said. The facility is designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane and will serve as the region’s emergency operations center if a storm hits. In the past year, the company built nearly 100 new digital cell sites, of which roughly 85 percent have on-site generators and expanded fuel tanks. The company has expanded its highest-speed digital network and completed a 35-foot, $150,000 Disaster Response Trailer mobile customer service unit. For the 2008 season, the company revised its comprehensive emergency response plan, including the preparation of emergency command centers across Florida in the case of a storm or other crisis. The new technologies, facilities and other network-strengthening efforts are part of an investment exceeding $1.7 billion in the state over the past eight years, the release said. Nationally, in that time period, Verizon Wireless has spent about $45 billion to enhance its digital wireless network. Source: