Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Monday, February 9, 2009

Complete DHS Daily Report for February 9, 2009

Daily Report


 According to the Associated Press, a state of emergency has been declared in Warren, Michigan after 42 water mains broke during the week of February 1-7 in frequent below-freezing weather. (See item 22)

22. February 5, Associated Press – (Michigan) 42 water main breaks prompts emergency declaration. A state of emergency has been declared in a community just north of Detroit after 42 water mains broke the week of February 1-7 in frequent below-freezing weather. The Detroit Free Press reports that the Warren mayor issued the declaration Thursday. It allows him to hire outside workers without approval by the city council. The city is expected to spend about $150,000 to repair the mains. City crews have been able to fix only three to four per day. The Free Press reports that more than 100 water mains have broken this year in Warren. That’s three times the number during the same period in 2008. Source:,0,3289649.story

 KFOX 14 El Paso reports that the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas announced on February 5 that 2,114 diabetic patients treated at the hospital may be at risk for contracting blood-borne illnesses. Hospital administrators said the patients were being injected with insulin improperly from August 2007 until January 2009. (See item 25)

25. February 5, KFOX 14 El Paso – (Texas) Mistake at William Beaumont Hospital puts thousands at risk. William Beaumont Army Medical Center announced Thursday that 2,114 diabetic patients treated at the hospital may be at risk for contracting blood-borne illnesses. Hospital administrators said diabetic patients at the hospital were being injected with insulin improperly. A medical injection pen was being used on more than one patient. Even though the needle was changed with each patient, there are fears the insulin reservoir may have contained diseases from past patients, which has sparked the fear of contamination. Doctors said the patients could be at risk of being given blood-borne diseases from August 2007 until January 30, 2009. Some blood-borne diseases include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, as well as HIV. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

10. February 6, Seattle Times – (Washington) Bellevue man charged in $65M pyramid scheme. A Bellevue businessman who allegedly ran a $65 million pyramid scheme involving investments in Southeast Asian oil development has been ordered held in federal custody by a U.S. magistrate judge after his arrest on February 5. Prosecutors allege that the 48-year-old suspect and two Malaysian men used money they took from some investors to pay others; all the while claiming they were helping develop vast tracks of oil-rich land overseas. The 23-count indictment unsealed on February 5 alleges they lied to investors, created fake financial statements and ginned-up false news releases to boast of success, when in fact the suspect and his alleged co-conspirators were living a “lavish lifestyle” and using investor funds in risky oil and gas development projects. The suspect was arrested at his Eastside home on February 5. He faces a 23-count indictment that could land him in federal prison for decades. He is charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, money-laundering, and tax evasion. Nineteen of the charges carry 20-year prison sentences and fines of $500,000 each. Source:

Information Technology

34. February 5, SC Magazine – (International) Phishers use TinyURL to trick users into accessing fake sites. Phishers are using the TinyURL function to hide destinations from unsuspecting users. An advanced threats researcher for Trend Micro claimed that phishers are now using TinyURLs to shrink long URL strings and hide destinations from users. In one example of a spam email, the link given is deliberately long, so the TinyURL function is used to protect the identity of the phishing site. The phishing page is disguised to look like a banking login site, where the information entered by unknowing users in the login boxes is logged and stolen. A technical communications spokesman for Trend Micro said: “The cybercriminal advantage of using TinyURL is that when this link is used in spammed email messages the exact URL of the destination is concealed from users until they land on the page itself. Recipients may then be tricked into clicking URLs purporting to be shortened versions of whatever company the spammer has chosen. Spam filter evasion is another key advantage. The good practice here is to first substitute for to get a preview of the final link before one proceeds to the page itself. The best advice is to altogether avoid clicking on links in unsolicited email.” Source:

Communications Sector

35. February 6, AppleInsider – (National) AT&T’s 3G MicroCell to patch iPhone dead zones. iPhone 3G users stuck in an AT&T dead zone at home or at work will soon be able to plug in a device that provides a strong local signal for up to 10 phones and four simultaneous voice or data connections via a connection to broadband Internet. Price and availability have not yet been set for the appliance, which AT&T calls the 3G MicroCell. The CDMA industry usually refers to local area, consumer cellular base stations as a “femtocell,” suggesting a smaller version of the “picocell,” an industry term for a cellular base station installed to extend the signal of standard “Node B” antennas of cellular networks. Apple has installed commercial GSM picocells with 3G base stations within its retail stores that work in parallel with WiFi base stations to give the locations both WiFi and 3G cellular signals. Just as with picocells and full scale cellular antennas, a femtocell automatically passes a mobile user’s phone connection to the next nearest existing cellular towers as they leave the local signal area provided by the base station. AT&T’s “MicroCell” branding suggests a device a thousand times more significant than a femtocell, but it is really the same thing. In the world of UMTS, a femtocell is usually called a Home Node B. Source:

36. February 5, Associated Press – (National) Some TV stations to end analog signal on Feb. 17. Television viewers who use antennas and were expecting a few more months to prepare for digital TV may not have much time left before their sets go dark: many stations still plan to drop analog broadcasts in less than two weeks. When Congress postponed the mandatory transition to digital TV until June, it also gave stations the option to stick to the originally scheduled date of February 17. That means the shutdown of analog signals, which broadcasters had hoped would happen at nearly the same time nationwide, could now unfold in a confusing patchwork of different schedules. Lawmakers wanted to address concerns that many households that receive TV signals through an antenna are not prepared for the switch. They were also mindful that a government fund has run out of money to subsidize digital converter boxes for older TVs. Dozens of stations around the country now say they are going to take advantage of the option to drop analog broadcasts this month. Many others are on the fence. The total number is likely to be in the hundreds, a substantial chunk and maybe even a majority of the country’s 1,796 full-power TV stations. Source: