Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Complete DHS Daily Report for August 19, 2008

Daily Report

• According to Reuters, PG&E Corp.’s Unit 2 at Diablo Canyon nuclear power station in California automatically shut on Sunday due to a fire that damaged a transformer. (See item 11)

• CNN reports that authorities halted the evacuation Sunday night of a few hundred people who were initially thought to be in danger after rain breached an earthen dam at the Grand Canyon. (See item 49)

Banking and Finance Sector

20. August 18, Computerworld – (National) Wells Fargo codes used to access personal information. Wells Fargo Bank NA is notifying some 7,000 people that their Social Security numbers and other personal information may have been accessed by thieves using the financial services firm’s access codes. The bank learned of the compromise on July 1 from MicroBilt Corp., a reseller of consumer data, according to a Wells Fargo spokeswoman. MicroBilt notified Wells Fargo of suspicious transactions made on its site using the bank’s access codes, she said. The codes are used by certain Wells Fargo employees to access MicroBilt’s consumer credit data. The spokeswoman noted that the accessed records belonged to “random individuals,” only a small number of whom were Wells Fargo customers. In the letter, Wells Fargo’s senior corporate counsel disclosed that “a significant number of unauthorized transactions had been made using Wells Fargo’s codes.” He said that Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers and, in some cases, credit account information had been accessed. The letter also said that the bank has contact information for only about 2,400 of the affected individuals. Source:

21. August 18, Washington Post – (National) CEOs launch web site to protect short sellers. Three business men launched, which is a Web-based, real-time electronic stock lending and location service that provides tools to help sellers and brokerage firms comply with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules governing naked short selling – the practice the agency sought to prevent – and regular short sales of stocks. The Web site matches traders with available stocks that can be borrowed for short sales and offers immediate data on the short-sell market. It is named after the SEC’s order regulating such trades, Regulation SHO. The emergency order required short sellers to borrow shares before initiating a short sale in the stocks of 19 major companies, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, along with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Issued July 15, the order expired August 12, with SEC officials saying they were moving toward introducing a permanent rule that could cover the entire market.’s executives say their company can help reduce costs because transactions are done electronically and traders never have to take the time to pick up the phone. Access to includes access to, a real-time lending-borrow marketplace specializing in hard-to-borrow stocks, and, which specializes in identifying demand for borrowed stocks and features a historical database of more than 2.1 billion short sale transactions. The three founders said that membership in the sites has increased by at least 30 to 40 percent since the SEC’s announcement of its order. Source:

22. August 15, Associated Press – (National) UBS faces fraud charge in New Hampshire. New Hampshire securities regulators on Thursday accused banking giant UBS of defrauding the state’s leading issuer of student loans. In a civil complaint, the Bureau of Securities Regulation said that while UBS Securities LLC was steering bigger clients out of the auction-rate securities market last winter because of signs the market would collapse, it was advising the New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corp. to stay in. UBS denied defrauding anyone. The regulators seek unspecified fines and restitution and a halt to the alleged misconduct. They said a hearing examiner will be appointed for proceedings that could easily take months. The bureau director said UBS and other big banks should act on their own to shore up the lending capacity of programs such as New Hampshire’s. He said student loan issuers and borrowers in other states are in similar jams. The lender’s president said his company handles 80 to 85 percent of the student loans in the state worth about $250 million annually. Using other banks and credit unions, it has continued handling federal student loans totaling about $90 million. UBS Securities, UBS’ investment banking branch, has been the longtime financial adviser and underwriter to New Hampshire’s program. Source:

Information Technology

44. August 18, Computerworld – (National) Microsoft puts out 11 fixes, pulls another. In its largest batch of security fixes in 18 months, Microsoft Corp. last week released 11 software updates to plug 26 holes in Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, and other products. Six of the updates were tagged “critical,” Microsoft’s highest severity rating. The company acknowledged that at least two of the vulnerabilities being patched have already been exploited by attackers in the wild. This month’s update count was supposed to be even larger: Microsoft said it decided not to issue an expected fix for Windows Media Player 11 “because of a last-minute quality issue.” The director of security operations at nCircle Network Security Inc., noted that seven of the 11 updates replace earlier patches from Microsoft. Source:

Communications Sector

45. August 18, Pittsburgh Tribune-Reviews – (Pennsylvania) Comcast phone service restored after three-hour interruption. A malfunctioning router temporarily left about 14,000 Comcast telephone customers in Westmoreland County without service for about three hours Sunday. The router lost power at about 5 p.m. for unspecified reasons, according to a Comcast dispatcher. The outage affected customers in the city and surrounding areas. Comcast crews responded quickly and had service back up by 7:45 p.m., said a Comcast spokeswoman. Prior to restoration of service, North Huntingdon police issued an advisory asking area residents in need of police or ambulance service to contact the station via cell phone or come in person. No incidents were reported during that time, township dispatchers said. Source:

46. August 17, Businesswire – (Montana; National) Contract negotiations continue beyond deadline for Qwest and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Qwest Communications International Inc. and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), which represents approximately 200 workers in Montana, have agreed to extend contract negotiations beyond the Aug. 16, 11:59 p.m. deadline. Talks will continue. Qwest is fully operational. All Qwest employees are required to report to their jobs as usual. Qwest will continue to bargain in good faith and remains committed to reaching an agreement as soon as possible. Source: