Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Complete DHS Daily Report for June 28, 2011

Daily Report

Top Stories

• According to the Associated Press, investigators were working June 27 to determine the cause of a June 24 crash of a semi-truck into an Amtrak train in Nevada that killed at least six people. (See item 17)

17. June 27, Associated Press – (Nevada) Investigators piece together Nevada Amtrak crash. Investigators struggled June 27 to piece together how a truck driver who plowed into an Amtrak train in the Nevada desert failed to notice the crossing gates and blinking lights that should have been visible a half-mile away. At least six people were killed and five people are unaccounted for after the fiery June 24 crash that gutted two rail cars, and left the semi-truck buried inside one. A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper said authorities would consider all factors as they investigated the cause of the accident, including fatigue, driver inattention, and drugs or alcohol, with toxicology and autopsy results due within days. It could take up to a year to pinpoint the cause of the crash that killed the truck driver, a conductor and four others on the train. The semi-trailer truck hit the California Zephyr at a highway crossing about 70 miles east of Reno. A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member said flashing lights at the crossing were set to blink 25 seconds before a train approaches. Three days after the accident, a variety of factors remained unknown, including how fast the driver was going. Two other truck drivers in the convoy and the train’s engineer watched the semitrailer skid the length of a football field before crashing into the train. The other drivers stopped when they saw the gates come down and the warning lights go off as the California Zephyr approached, the NTSB member said. The driver of the big rig in the lead did not. The train’s engineer slammed on the emergency brakes, but the train, which was going about 78 mph in an 80-mph zone, traveled a half-mile more before it finally stopped. The driver was working for John Davis Trucking Co. in Battle Mountain, Nevada. Its Web site said it was family owned and specialized in hauling ore from local mines, as well as moving gravel and sand. Source: http://www.kptv.com/story/14982983/investigators-piece-together-nevada-amtrak-crash

• The Associated Press reports a wildfire in New Mexico forced officials to close the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory June 27, evacuate more than 100 residents, and cut natural gas to some areas. (See item 54)

54. June 27, Associated Press – (New Mexico) NM wildfire grows, shuts famed Los Alamos nuke lab. A fast-moving wildfire in New Mexico forced officials at the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory to close the site June 27 while stirring memories of a devastating blaze more than a decade ago that destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings in the area. More than 100 residents evacuated their homes as the fire swelled to 68 square miles and loomed just a mile southwest of the lab. Overnight winds from the northwest kept the blaze from moving onto lab property, though forecasts called for a change in wind patterns by midday. The lab activated its emergency operations center overnight, and cut natural gas to some areas as a precaution. Officials said all hazardous and radioactive materials were being protected. The lab was closed June 27, and Los Alamos and nearby White Rock were under voluntary evacuation orders. About 100 residents from Cochiti Mesa and Las Conchas were evacuated after the fire started June 26. In nearby Santa Fe, emergency officials were preparing to provide a shelter for evacuees. The fire raised concerns about toxic runoff and radioactive smoke, although a lab spokesman said no contaminants were released in the Cerro Grande fire. Source: http://galvestondailynews.com/ap/9fa3bc/


Banking and Finance Sector

12. June 26, Santee Patch and City News Service – (California) ‘Hit and Run Bandit’ suspects behind bars. A man arrested in El Cajon, California, June 24 on suspicion of stealing a bank bag from Bank of America is believed to be the “Hit and Run Bandit,” who has been knocking down female bank employees and stealing the money bags they carry. Eight similar crimes have been committed since May 19 in Santee, La Mesa, and San Diego at other Bank of America locations, an El Cajon police lieutenant said. The 27-year-old man was chased down about 4 p.m. June 24 near Fletcher Parkway and Johnson Avenue. He was arrested upon suspicion of grand theft, but could face other charges. The bank bag in the June 24 incident was returned to the bank. One of the suspected thefts occurred in San Diego June 14, when a woman in her 70s was knocked to the ground and may have suffered a broken hip, police said. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, though, another suspect was arrested in a similar crime in El Cajon near a Wells Fargo Bank branch June 23. Source: http://santee.patch.com/articles/hit-and-run-bandit-suspects-behind-bars

13. June 25, U.S. Department of Justice – (Texas) Federal grand jury indicts five in $9 million mortgage fraud scheme. A federal grand jury returned an eight-count indictment the week of June 20 charging five individuals with various offenses related to their operation of a mortgage fraud conspiracy in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Texas area, a U.S. attorney announced. The defendants are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. From April 2005 to April 2007, the defendants allegedly ran a scheme where they located single-family residences for sale in the DFW area due to excess inventory, distressed and pre-foreclosure properties, and negotiated a sales price with the seller. They fraudulently received loan proceeds when they submitted fraudulent invoices to the title companies that falsely represented the defendants had performed various work related to the property, such as various consulting or legal services. The defendants recruited individuals to act as “straw purchasers” or “straw borrowers,” promising to pay them a bonus or commission of between $3,500 and $25,000 for their participation in a particular real estate transaction. The scope of the conspiracy involved about 23 fraudulent residential property loan closings, resulting in the funding of about $8.8 million in fraudulent loans. If convicted, the conspiracy and each bank fraud counts carries a maximum statutory sentence of 30 years in prison, and a $1 million fine. Each of the wire fraud counts, upon conviction, carries a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. The money laundering count carries, upon conviction, up to 10 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, or twice the amount of the criminally derived property received. In addition, restitution could be ordered. Source: http://www.ntxe-news.com/artman/publish/article_70384.shtml

14. June 24, Bloomberg – (National) Deep Shah tips resulted in $8.2 million in trades, SEC says in court claim. Illegal tips from a former Moody’s Investors Service Inc. analyst, declared a fugitive in the insider trading case of a Galleon Group LLC co-founder, resulted in $8.2 million in profits, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in court papers filed June 23. The agency also is seeking a default judgment against the suspect, claiming he had not responded to the suit filed in 2009. The complaint was served to the man in Mumbai, India, the SEC said. It claims the man passed along inside information about acquisitions involving Hilton Hotels Corp. and Kronos Inc. It is seeking $9.9 million in disgorgement, which includes illegal cash payments to the man, profits reaped by his downstream tippees and interest. In 2009, the man was charged criminally by prosecutors in the office of a Manhattan, New York, U.S. attorney. Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-24/deep-shah-tips-resulted-in-8-2-million-in-trades-sec-says-in-court-claim.html

15. June 24, Worthington Daily Globe – (Minnesota; South Dakota; West Virginia) Plaid Shirt Robber convicted for Luverne robbery. A man known as the “Plaid Shirt Robber” was convicted June 23 for robbing four Minnesota banks, including Minnwest Bank on East Main Street in Luverne.The 40-year-old Missouri man was found guilty of stealing about $4,350 from the Luverne bank April 16, 2008. Evidence presented at trial proved the man stole $7,410 from the Washington County Bank in Maplewood, Minnesota, September 18, 2007, about $1,196 from the TCF Bank in Fridley, Minnesota, September, 25, 2007 and $1,400 from the U.S. Bank in Bloomington, Minnesota, January 26, 2008. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in April 2010 after pleading guilty to robbing three banks in Charleston, West Virginia. He allegedly stole about $50,000 from those banks, plus $11,322 from three South Dakota banks he robbed in 2007. In November 2010, he was given a 15-year sentence for the South Dakota crimes, but some of that time will be served concurrent with the West Virginia convictions. Source: http://www.dglobe.com/event/article/id/49831/

16. June 24, Houston Chronicle – (Texas) 5 arrested in raid at ‘factory’ making fake credit cards. A nondescript home in Houston, Texas, was a virtual factory that churned out hundreds of bogus credit cards before Fort Bend County Sheriff’s deputies shut down the operation and arrested five people, officials said June 24. The only thing fake about almost 1,000 credit cards seized during the June 9 raid on the home in the 15400 block of Prairie Oaks were the plastic cards themselves. The data on each magnetic strip was legitimate but stolen by hackers who scoured the Internet for credit card information. Sheriff’s officials estimate the total loss at almost $1 million. Investigators found computers and several machines inside the home that were used to create the credit cards and encode the fraudulently obtained information onto the computer strip. All of the suspects are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, sheriff’s officials said. The five, who are believed to be related, used the phony cards to purchase gift cards valued from $50-$200 at stores such as Walmart or Target. The gift cards would then be sold on the street at discounted prices. In addition to more than 900 recoded credit cards, sheriff’s deputies found about $8,000, and flash drives and computer discs with thousands of stolen credit card numbers. The fake cards also were used to buy diesel fuel, officials said. The purchases were under $100, so the cards would not be flagged. Deputies found two pickups fitted with extra fuel tanks, pumps and meters, and said the fuel was resold at construction sites and to trucking companies. The construction and trucking firms could face state charges for not paying taxes on the fuel, officials said. Source: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7626226.html

Information Technology Sector

41. June 27, IDG News Service – (International) Anonymous claims LulzSec members, steps up attacks. The decision by computer hacking group LulzSec June 25 to halt operations may be helping another online group, Anonymous, which stepped up attacks the weekend of June 25 and 26. Some members of Members of LulzSec now claim they are with Anonymous. Anonymous claimed it had released data from the Web site of the Cyberterrorism Defense Initiative, a national counter-cyberterrorism training program funded by DHS among others. It also said it found a “chest of 40 Terabytes internal data” from an undisclosed company, but was not sure how to put up all the data on the Web. LulzSec said June 25 it ended its campaign of cyberassaults on government and corporate Web sites. It did not give a specific reason for its sudden decision. Anonymous said in a message on Twitter June 26 it could confirm all LulzSec members reported aboard. A LulzSec member confirmed on Twitter that its members were now part of Anonymous. LulzSec and Anonymous came together recently to target government and related agencies in Operation Anti-Security. There is speculation that LulzSec decided to disband after the arrest in the United Kingdom of a man who is alleged to have been involved with the group. Source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9217940/Anonymous_claims_LulzSec_members_steps_up_attacks

42. June 24, Reuters – (International) Hackers attack Electronic Arts Website. Cyber hackers breached an Electronic Arts (EA) Web site and may have taken user information such as birth dates, phone numbers, and mailing addresses, the company said on its Web site June 24. EA is the latest victim in a spate of global cyber attacks waged against video game companies. No hacker group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. The video game publisher posted a set of questions and answers on its Web site addressing the attack, which hit a server for EA’s Bioware studio in Edmonton, Canada. The hacked Web site was associated with the fantasy game “Neverwinter Nights.” The company said no credit card data or Social Ssecurity numbers were taken, but other sensitive data may have been breached by hackers. Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/24/us-electronicarts-hackers-idUSTRE75N58J20110624

For another story see item 44 below in the Communications Sector

Communications Sector

43. June 27, Tampa Bay Tribune – (Florida) Intermittent outages affect 500,000 Bright House customers. More than 500,000 Bright House customers in the Tampa, Florida, area were affected by a router change that caused intermittent outages with various services, including News Channel 8 (WFLA). The outage also caused News Channel 8, and other stations, to be knocked offline for some viewers throughout the area June 27 for up to 3 hours. A Bright House cable representative said customers began experiencing intermittent problems with internet, telephone, and some channels from 2:30-3 a.m. He said the issue affected Bright House’s entire Tampa Bay division. Source: http://www2.tbo.com/news/breaking-news/2011/jun/27/intermittent-outages-affect-500000-bright-house-cu-ar-240187/

44. June 24, Associated Press – (International) PBS Website hacked for 2nd time, some data taken. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) said its Web site was hacked for at least the second time in a month. A PBS spokeswoman said one section of a Web site in the PBS’s collection of sites was defaced June 24. The affected Web site was for the program “Becoming American.” The spokeswoman said a “very small number” of administrative user names and encrypted passwords were stolen. PBS, based in Arlington, Virginia, said it has seen an increasing number of intrusion attempts recently. At the end of May, hackers broke into the Web site and posted a phony story claiming a dead music artist was indeed alive. A group that claimed responsibility complained about a recent “Frontline” investigation on Wikileaks. Source: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9O2GALO0.htm