Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Complete DHS Daily Report for November 6, 2008

Daily Report


 The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on November 4 alerted the public to instances of questionable solicitations directed at consumers. These solicitations promise consumers access to personal loans through a nonexistent Federal Reserve lending program. (See item 10)

See Item 10 in the Details below.

 According to SC Magazine, Adobe on November 4 delivered a new version of Adobe Reader and Acrobat 8 to correct a number of critical vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to take remote control of an infected computer. (See item 32)

See Item 32 in the Details below.


Banking and Finance Sector

9. November 5, Associated Press – (National) Government selling $55 billion in bonds next week to help pay for financial rescue programs. The government will sell $55 billion in bonds next week as part of a massive borrowing to pay for its financial rescue programs. The Treasury Department said Wednesday it is bringing back its three-year notes, selling them monthly to help cover the increased borrowing needs, and will auction $25 billion of them on November 10. The government also will offer $20 billion in 10-year notes November 12, and $10 billion in 29 3/4-year bonds on November 13. The government plans to borrow a record $550 billion in the last three months of 2008 to help pay for the various financial rescue packages put into effect in response to the global crisis. Officials project that the government will need to borrow an additional $368 billion in the first quarter of 2009. The Treasury also said it will offer 10-year notes in December and January of 2009. The balance of financing requirements will be met by offering weekly Treasury bills, monthly 52-week bills, monthly two-year, three-year and five-year notes, and 10-year and 20-year securities, the department said. Source:

10. November 4, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System – (National) Federal Reserve Board alerts public to instances of questionable solicitations directed at consumers. The Federal Reserve Board on November 4 alerted the public to instances of questionable solicitations directed at consumers. These solicitations promise consumers access to personal loans through a nonexistent Federal Reserve lending program. Under this fraudulent scheme, targeted individuals are told that that they can work through a broker to access a Federal Reserve program that extends sizable secured loans to consumers. Consumers are encouraged to deposit large sums of money into a bank account, under the guise of a security deposit, in order to receive the purported loan. The Federal Reserve is advising consumers that it has no involvement in these solicitations and does not directly sponsor consumer lending programs. The matter has been referred to the appropriate authorities for action. Consumers are strongly urged to verify the legitimacy of potential service providers before entering into a business transaction. Individuals seeking personal finance options are encouraged to do business only with reputable lenders and to shop around for the most favorable loan terms. Source:

11. November 4, Bank Systems & Technology – (North Carolina) Privier’s new ATM service requires no card, account. Chartlotte, North Carolina-based Privier has developed a new ATM service called ATMSend that will allow the unbanked to transfer cash using envelope-free ATMs. According to the company, users would perform transactions without the need of a card or bank account. The recipients can then withdraw the funds, also without needing a card or bank account to do so. According to Privier, ATMSend is designed to help level the playing field for banks that wish to reach out to the unbanked market. It is offering the service to banks in the U.S. and abroad. To use ATMSend to send cash, users must register their mobile phone and personal information such as name, address, date of birth and social security number, which is verified against the OFAC list. As an additional safeguard measure, Privier uses idology’s ExpectID IQ for knowledge-based authentication. Source:

Information Technology

31. November 4, MX Logic – (International) Working group launches phishing scam guidance. The Anti-Phishing Working Group has issued new guidance for domain registrars which aims to help them identify websites used to launch phishing scams. Its new white paper has been drawn up in collaboration with a number of key players in the fight against phishing and gives guidance on a number of methods to identify website registration requests, which may be used to commit identity theft and fraud. According to Secure Computing, the guide comes as a response to the ever-growing sophistication of phishing scams seen in the wild. The best practice recommendations provide information on how to identify dubious registrations and how to capture and preserve evidence to charge criminals. It is split into three main areas: phishing site takedown, evidence preservation, and fraud screening. Source:

32. November 4, SC Magazine – (International) Adobe patches for critical vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader. Adobe on November 4 delivered a new version of Adobe Reader and Acrobat 8 to correct a number of critical vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to take remote control of an infected computer. The update — which addresses nine flaws in version 8.1.2 and earlier — includes a fix for a stack buffer overflow issue that was reported by four security companies: TippingPoint, Secunia, Core Security Technologies, and iSIGHT Partners. That bug could be exploited by hackers to gain access to a vulnerable system by tricking a victim into clicking on a specially crafted PDF file that contains malicious JavaScript, according to Core. The director of security operations at network security firm nCircle said in an email that a public proof-of-concept is available for the vulnerability, which resembles a now-patched Foxit Reader bug that was disclosed earlier this year. An Adobe spokesman said that the company is not aware of any proof-of-concept code. Adobe suggests users upgrade to version 8.1.3. Users of version 9 for Reader and Acrobat, released in June, are not vulnerable to any of the flaws patched on November 4. Source:

33. November 3, Dark Reading – (International) Microsoft’s new Security Intelligence Report finds Trojan downloaders/droppers are on the rise, while viruses decline. The Microsoft report, released November 3 and based on malware data gathered from millions of Windows PCs from around the world, found that Trojan downloaders and droppers were the most prevalent threat to these machines in the first half of 2008. This type of malware made up more than 30 percent of all malware cleaned off of Windows machines during that period. Trojans and other backdoor malware — which often sneak past antivirus and antispyware scanners — are typically used to steal credentials (think online banking) or for botnet proliferation. Microsoft found that these threats are increasing, while viruses dropped from nearly 10 percent in the second half of last year to less than 5 percent from January through June of this year. Spyware also declined during the same period, from nearly 5 percent to about 2 percent. The main culprits in the Trojan infections, according to Microsoft, are the Win21/Zlob and Win32/Renos family of malware, which accounted for more than 96 percent of the infections Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool cleaned in the first half of 2008. The total amount of malware and unwanted software removed from computers worldwide by MSRT increased by more than 43 percent compared with the second half of 2007. Source:

Communications Sector

34. November 4, Los Angeles Times – (National) FCC votes to turn empty TV channels into wireless Net access. Wireless Internet access is about to undergo its largest ever expansion after federal regulators approved a controversial plan Tuesday to allow a new generation of mobile devices to use the empty airwaves between television channels for free Web surfing. Dubbed “Wi-Fi on steroids” by its supporters in the high-tech industry, the plan promises to offer free wireless Internet service across America and spur new systems for transmitting video and other data seamlessly between devices in their homes. The plan overcame staunch opposition from the entertainment industry, which is worried about the signals interfering with TV broadcasts and wireless microphones. Though expected to be slower and possibly less secure than commercial services from cable and phone companies, the new Internet connections would ride on the highest-quality airwaves, able to carry signals long distances and easily penetrate trees and walls. Source: