Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Complete DHS Daily Report for January 11, 2011

Daily Report

Top Stories

• An incendiary package addressed to the Homeland Security Secretary ignited in a Washington D.C. postal facility. It was similar in design and shape to two packages that previously ignited in Maryland. (See items 24, 23)

24. January 8, Christian Science Monitor – (District of Columbia; Maryland) Janet Napolitano was apparent target of D.C. package, widening investigation. Authorities investigating two incendiary packages in Maryland have more evidence to examine after a third package ignited January 9 in Washington D.C. The mailing in Washington was similar in design and shape to the packages in Maryland, according to the Baltimore Sun. The District of Columbia package was addressed to the Homeland Security Secretary, said a department official who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The other packages were intended for The Maryland governor and the state’s transportation secretary. Although all three parcels aroused alarm because of their fiery characteristics, they did not appear to contain explosive material. The devices in the Maryland packages each contained a small battery and an electric match, CNN said, citing law-enforcement officials. Each of the mailings will now be examined more closely at the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia. Already, investigators were sorting through phone calls, e-mails, and letters to try to identify suspects, the Sun said. One focus was disgruntled people who have made threats against state government, according to the Associated Press. Still, much remained to be determined. The Metropolitan Police Department in the District of Columbia, the Department of Homeland Security, the Postal Inspection Service, and other federal agencies are also involved in the investigation, the New York Times said. Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0108/Janet-Napolitano-was-apparent-target-of-D.C.-package-widening-investigation

23. January 9, Associated Press – (District of Columbia) Post union miffed by ‘sloppy’ evacuation. Postal workers who returned to work in Washington D.C. January 8 said a package that ignited at a government mail facility conjured painful memories of the anthrax attacks that killed two of their colleagues in 2001. The fiery package found January 7, which was addressed to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, followed two packages that ignited January 7 in Maryland state government mailrooms. It halted government mail until bomb-sniffing dogs could sweep the District of Columbia facility. Mail processing resumed January 8 after a meeting with workers, the local postmaster and the workers’ union. The postal workers union president said the package worried many employees. “We want them to feel safe and secure and be able to trust management to respond properly if this were to happen again,” the union official said. When the popping and smoking package was discovered, postal service managers failed to follow proper safety procedures, the union official said. The evacuation process was “very sloppy,” she said, because workers in the back of the building had no idea they were supposed to evacuate. Managers should have made an announcement on the public address system, she said. A mail processing clerk at the D.C. facility said co-workers told her management had trouble deciding whether to evacuate the building and wanted to wait for postal inspectors or police to decide. A worker ended up flagging down a police car, and workers said police evacuated the building. Source: http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20110109/NEWS03/301099901/1066/NEWS03

• Federal prosecutors brought charges January 9 against a gunman accused of carrying out an assassination attempt on a U.S. Representative from Arizona. The suspect killed six people and critically wounded the Representative and 12 others at a political event in Tucson, Arizona. (See items 39, 40, 41)

39. January 9, Associated Press – (Arizona) U.S. prosecutors charge gunman accused of assassination attempt on Arizona Rep. Giffords, killing 6. Federal prosecutors brought charges January 9 against the gunman accused of carrying out an assassination attempt on a U.S. Representative from Arizona, and killing six people at a political event in Tucson, Arizona. The suspect is accused of killing six people, including a federal judge, an aide to the Representative, and a 9-year-old girl outside a Safeway grocery store, located next to a Walgreen’s. Fourteen others were wounded, including the three-term Democrat lawmaker. Authorities said he targeted the Representative at a public gathering around 10 a.m. January 8 outside a busy Tucson supermarket. Investigators said they carried out a search warrant at the 22-year-old suspect’s home and seized an envelope from a safe with messages such as “I planned ahead,” ‘‘My assassination,” and the last name of the U.S. Representative who was shot next to what appears to be the man’s signature. He allegedly purchased the Glock pistol used in the attack in November at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson. Court documents also show the suspect had contact with the Representative in the past. Other evidence included a letter addressed to him from the Representative’s congressional stationery in which she thanked him for attending a “Congress on your Corner” event at a mall in Tucson in 2007. The first assistant federal public defender in Arizona said the suspect does not yet have a lawyer, but that her office is working to get a lawyer appointed for the suspect. Source: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/us_prosecutors_charge_gunman_a.html

40. January 9, Long Island Newsday – (Arizona; National) Officials warn of Arizona copycat attacks. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives were told in a bipartisan conference call with their leaders January 9 that authorities are monitoring for potential “copycat” attacks on lawmakers after the rampage January 8 in Tuscon, Arizona. Following the deadly shooting that killed six and critically wounded a U.S. Representative and injured several others, the House Speaker and House Minority Leader urged lawmakers to take precautions. “I have also asked that the Sergeant-at-Arms, U.S. Capitol Police, and FBI to conduct an in-depth security overview for members on Wednesday,” the House Speaker told members on the call, along with a “bipartisan security briefing for district directors” of congressional offices. Republican leaders called off all votes January 9 scheduled for the upcoming week, allowing lawmakers to stay in their districts rather than return to Washington, D.C. Homeland Security agencies, including immigration enforcement, customs and border patrol, and the Transportation Security Administration assisted the FBI in Arizona. Source: http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/officials-warn-of-arizona-copycat-attacks-1.2598054

41. January 9, Associated Press – (Arizona) Package at Giffords’ office was non-explosive. A loud noise rattled more than 100 people attending a candlelight vigil January 8 outside the headquarters of a U.S. Representative in Tuscon, Arizona, where authorities investigated a suspicious package that turned out to be non-explosive. A police department spokesman said an officer checking the Representative’s office in Tucson had found a “strange” item that resembled a coffee can and had writing on it. A bomb squad worked for a couple hours, using X-ray equipment, to try to figure out what the package was before the loud noise was heard. The noise was caused by authorities’ efforts to destroy the package and render it safe. The spokesman said there was no threat to public safety. Earlier that day, the Representative was holding a forum for constituents outside a grocery store when a gunman shot many people, killing six and wounding several others, including the Democratic Congresswoman. Source: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/01/09/package_at_giffords_office_was_non_explosive/?rss_id=Boston.com+/+Boston+Globe+--+National+News


Banking and Finance Sector

13. January 8, Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice – (Pennsylvania; New Jersey) Suspect in 7 bank robberies nabbed. A New Jersey man wanted for seven bank robberies and a drugstore hold-up was arrested January 6 in White Haven, Pennsylvania where two of the robberies occurred, the borough officer-in-charge said. The suspect confessed to robbing PNC Bank November 18 and Rite-Aid Pharmacy December 13 in White Haven, the borough official said. Police detained the suspect for questioning after a report of a suspicious vehicle at PNC Bank around 4 p.m. January 6, the officer said. The suspect had planned to rob the bank for a second time before he was detained, the official said. The suspect also confessed to robbing banks in Allentown, Quakertown, Harrison Township, New Jersey; Paulsboro, New Jersey.; and Millville, New Jersey, the borough official said, adding he robbed the Millville bank twice. All the robberies took place since June. Borough police, who had been working with the FBI, turned him over to federal officials for prosecution in all eight holdups, the borough official said. Investigators had identified the suspect as a suspect based on evidence and surveillance footage from the robberies, and an arrest was near before he showed up in White Haven January 6, he said. Source: http://citizensvoice.com/news/suspect-in-7-bank-robberies-nabbed-1.1087481

14. January 8, Deseret News – (Utah) SEC says Draper men bilked investors of $60 million in alleged securities fraud. A Draper, Utah man and three associates allegedly bilked investors of $60 million in a securities fraud scam as a means to fund his extravagant lifestyle, federal authorities said. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint January 6 against four suspects, claiming they misrepresented unregistered promissory notes as high yield, risk-free notes for an exclusive investment fund started by the owner of the Houston Astros baseball team. According to the complaint, the lead conspirator organized the scheme in March 2007 and enlisted his three co-conspirators, to help him raise millions of dollars for the fund. Some 90 investors were guaranteed returns of at least 20 percent, the complaint said. The suspect, who owned E & R Holdings, Wise Financial Holdings and Momentum Leasing, told investors their money would be deposited in a secure account over which he had sole control and that the funds would never leave the account, the complaint said. The money was to be used only for “verification of deposit” purposes for private traders obtaining large lines of credit. None of the four men were registered with the SEC or licensed to sell securities, the complaint said. Source: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705364057/SEC-says-Draper-men-bilked-investors-of-60-million-in-alleged-securities-fraud.html

15. January 7, KGMB 23 Honululu – (Hawaii) Hawaii banker accused of stealing millions. The FBI is investigating a Hawaii banker accused of stealing a million dollars through a loan scheme. Hawaii News Now has learned the unnamed employee is part of the Bank of America’s home loan division. Authorities believe he pocketed money that customers thought they were putting into an escrow account. Anyone who thinks they were victimized is urged to contact the FBI. Source: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=13800323

16. January 7, Muskegon Chronicle – (Michigan) Alleged Ponzi mastermind Dante DeMiro arrested. The man accused of bilking Mona Shores Schools in Michigan out of $3.7 million in an alleged Ponzi scheme was arrested in Port Huron January 6 by the U.S. Marshal Service and is in a county jail. A bench warrant for the suspect had been issued for failure to appear on a civil case out of Southfield. He did not appear for a hearing on a default judgment issued against him for failing to pay for goods and services. A $300 cash bond was posted on the suspect’s behalf, but he remained in jail, meaning he is likely being held on more than one complaint, according to an official with 46th District Court in Southfield. The suspect appeared in U.S. District Court in Port Huron January 6 for a hearing on a request by his attorney to withdraw from the Ponzi case in which Mona Shores is one of several alleged victims. The suspect is facing five felony counts for bank and wire fraud in that case. After the judge granted the high-profile attorney’s request to withdraw due to a conflict of interest, he was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal Service. Lapeer County, Comstock Township, a credit union in Iowa, and a bank in Virginia are other alleged victims in the Ponzi scheme. Source: http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2011/01/alleged_ponzi_mastermind_dante.html

Information Technology

48. January 10, The Register – (International) Facebook worm spread via photo album chat lure. A new worm that spreads using a photo album chat message lure began proliferating across Facebook January 8 and 9. The photo lure is used to trick potential users into downloading a malicious file, which appears in the guise of a photo viewing application. Victims are prompted to click a “View Photo” button. Users who fell for the scam became infected by malware, dubbed Palevo-BB by net security firm Sophos. The malware attempts to generate a message to the victim’s Facebook contacts, continuing the infection cycle. Facebook responded by purging the malicious application. Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/10/facebook_worm_photo_chat_scam/

49. January 10, Softpedia – (International) Serious DOM vulnerabilities found in many well-funded websites. A study performed by security researchers from IBM revealed that around one in seven Web sites belonging to the world’s wealthiest companies is plagued by DOM-based cross-site scripting vulnerabilities or open redirects. The research was performed on a set of 675 Web sites, those of all Fortune 500 companies, plus an additional 175 handpicked ones, belonging to security vendors, reputable IT firms, or social networks. Researchers used a crawler to retrieve 200 random pages from each Web site with complete HTML, JavaScript, and CSS code, and then scanned them in a controlled environment with an internally developed tool called JavaScript Security Analyzer (JSA). Pages downloaded from a number of 92 Web sites were found vulnerable to DOM-based XSS, while open redirects — vulnerabilities that can redirect the visitor’s browser — were found in 11 sites. Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Serious-DOM-Vulnerabilities-Found-in-Many-Well-Funded-Websites-177178.shtml

50. January 10, The H Security – (International) Mono developers close security hole. A flaw in the Web server components of the free Mono .NET clone potentially allows ASP.NET applications to supply source code or other files from the Web server’s application directory. Mono 2.8.2 fixes this as yet unexplained bug. Affected components on the project’s vulnerability list include the XSP Web server and the mod_mono Apache module. Both of these execute ASP.NET code. Another security patch fixes a flaw that allows Silverlight applications to execute arbitrary code when running in a security manager. Versions 2 and 3 (beta) of the Moonlight Silverlight implementation are affected. Further information about the update can be found in the release notes. Mono 2.8.2 is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, and other operating systems from the project’s download page. Source: http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/Mono-developers-close-security-hole-1166254.html

51. January 7, Softpedia – (International) Malware possibly distributed through openx.org. According to notifications from Google’s Safe Browsing service, openx.org, home to a leading open source ad server package, might be used as an intermediary for malware. The problem was observed by researchers from Web security company Sucuri, which provides a Web site integrity monitoring solution. “We are tracking a few sites that are currently blacklisted and showing a warning from Google that openx.org (home of a popular open source ad server) is the site responsible for the infection,” a Sucuri researcher warned. The Google Safe Browsing diagnostic page for openx.org claims that “over the past 90 days, openx.org appeared to function as an intermediary for the infection of 82 site(s).” This does not mean that openx.org is hosting the malware itself, only that it is serving as a doorway. This could point to malicious ads being served via the OpenX network. Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Malware-Possibly-Distributed-Through-OpenX-org-176997.shtml

Communications Sector

52. January 7, Minneapolis Star-Tribune – (Minnesota; National) State sues Pennsylvania firm over inflated phone bills. A Pennsylvania company is accused of sneaking unauthorized charges of about $15 a month onto the phone bills of hundreds of Minnesotans — a practice called cramming. The Minnesota attorney general and a U.S. Senator from Minnesota announced January 7 a lawsuit against Cheap2Dial Telephone, LLC, at the same time calling for a national crackdown on crammers who they say prey on unsuspecting telephone customers. They also are working to hold phone companies accountable, because they make money by letting crammers put bogus charges on bills. Complaints about cramming nationwide jumped from 1,761 in 2005 to 6,714 in 2009, according to the Federal Communications Commission. The Senator said the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee and the Federal Trade Commission are investigating companies involved in cramming. The attorney general said her office has about six open investigations on crammers, phone companies, and third-party companies that place questionable charges on phone bills. The suit against Cheap2Dial alleged the company placed charges of about $17 on the phone bills of 2,567 Minnesotans for long-distance calling minutes. Only nine of those customers actually used the service. Source: http://www.startribune.com/politics/state/113079034.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUoD3aPc:_2yc:a_ncyD_MDCiU

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