Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Complete DHS Daily Report for June 12, 2012

Daily Report

Top Stories

• A federal appeals court ruled the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must consider the environmental and safety issues involved with long-term storage of radioactive wastes at nuclear power plants when it renews operating licenses. – Los Angeles Times

7. June 8, Los Angeles Times – (National) Nuclear panel must weigh risks of long-term storage, court rules. A federal appeals court ruled June 8 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) must consider the environmental and safety issues involved with long-term storage of radioactive wastes at nuclear power plants when it renews operating licenses. The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., underscores the growing problem the nuclear energy industry faces as it continues to generate new waste and has no place to send it. The three-judge panel ruled the NRC evaluations have been deficient because the commission has failed to consider future risks when it has determined spent fuel can be stored for 60 years at plant sites. It also said the NRC has been wrong in not weighing the possibility that the radioactive fuel may have to stay where it is permanently, because the federal government may never have a nuclear dump for the spent fuel. Source: http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-nuclear-ruling-20120608,0,1477559.story

• June 8, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the E. coli O145 outbreak that killed a young girl in Louisiana has sickened at least 14 people in 6 States. – Food Safety News

28. June 8, Food Safety News – (National) CDC: Multistate E. coli O145 outbreak has sickened 14 in 6 States. June 8, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the E. coli O145 outbreak that killed a young girl in Louisiana has sickened at least 14 people in 6 States: Georgia (5 illnesses), Louisiana (4), Alabama (2), California (1), Florida (1), and Tennessee (1). Three people were hospitalized. The source of the contamination remains unknown. “The investigation is looking at both food and non-food exposures as part of the ongoing investigation,” according to a CDC statement. Illness onset dates range from April 15 to May 12. Infections that began after May 12 may not have been reported yet. The most recent case was reported June 4. Source: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/06/cdc-multistate-e-coli-o145-outbreak-has-sickened-14-in-6-states/

• A freezer malfunction at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital severely damaged one-third of the world’s largest collection of autism brain samples. Research on the disorder could be set back by years as a result. – Boston Globe

34. June 11, Boston Globe – (Massachusetts) Freezer failure at brain bank hampers autism research. A freezer malfunction at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital severely damaged one-third of the world’s largest collection of autism brain samples, potentially setting back research on the disorder by years, the Boston Globe reported June 11. An official at the renowned brain bank in Belmont, Massachusetts, discovered the freezer shut down May 31, without triggering two alarms. Inside, they found 150 thawed brains that turned dark from decay; about a third of them were part of a collection of autism brains. The damage to these brains could slow autism research by a decade as the collection is restored, said a neuropathologist at Johns Hopkins University. The McLean freezer, 1 of 24 in the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center, was protected by 2 separate alarm systems. Though the alarms were not triggered and the external thermostat read minus-79 degrees, the actual temperature was 7 degrees. Based on the condition of the brains, the center’s director estimates the freezer turned off 3 days earlier. She said the situation is so unusual that she cannot rule out foul play. McLean will upgrade security in the freezer room, which is locked and monitored by a surveillance camera. Source: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/06/11/freezer_failure_at_brain_bank_hampers_autism_research/?page=1

• Parts of the Florida panhandle and coastal Alabama were underwater June 11 after torrential rains caused extensive flooding and damage to many roads and commercial buildings, and a large county jail, local officials said. – CNN

49. June 11, CNN – (Florida; Alabama) Torrential rains flood Florida Panhandle. Parts of the Florida panhandle and coastal Alabama were underwater June 11 after torrential rains caused extensive flooding and damage to roads and buildings, local officials said. The precipitation contributed to a host of problems, with flooding especially substantial in the southern part of Escambia County, Florida, along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Some 113 people were in shelters in Escambia County due to the storm, and residents of a low-lying, 200-unit apartment complex were ordered to evacuate. Additionally, several roads and bridges, as well as many homes and businesses, suffered damage. One of the structures affected was the Escambia County Jail in Pensacola. The facility’s central booking facility was under about 6 feet of water at midday June 9. The main part of the jail lost power in the storm, but temporary power was brought in, and efforts continued to restore the air conditioning. A spokesman said security at the jail was never compromised. Flash flooding also made parts of some roadways impassable, with some reporting waters rising more than 6 feet in spots. Source: http://www.wcyb.com/weather/31177118/detail.html

• Police in Washington, D.C. and the FBI were investigating what they believed was the intentional crash of an SUV doused in gasoline into an office building that houses many retail shops and restaurants. – Associated Press

53. June 9, Associated Press – (Washington, D.C.) FBI, police investigate SUV crash into DC building. Police in Washington, D.C. and the FBI were investigating what they believed was the intentional crash of an SUV into a Washington, D.C. office building June 9. WRC 4 Washington, D.C., reported the vehicle’s interior and the driver had been deliberately doused with gasoline. The Washington Post reported the vehicle was carrying at least one container of gasoline. A FBI spokeswoman confirmed June 11 that members of its Joint Terrorism Task Force responded. The building in the city’s business district has a mix of offices, retail shops, and restaurants. One floor above where the vehicle crashed, a restaurant was crowded with evening diners. Source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/09/fbi-police-investigate-suv-crash-into-dc-building/

• Authorities in Colorado and New Mexico battled wildfires spreading rapidly through mountainous forest land. The fires forced thousands of evacuations and destroyed hundreds of structures. – Associated Press; CBS News

55. June 11, Associated Press; CBS News – (National) Rapidly spreading wildfires choke Colo., N.M. Authorities in Colorado and New Mexico battled wildfires spreading rapidly through mountainous forest land that forced hundreds of evacuations and destroyed dozens of structures, the Associated Press and CBS News reported June 11. A wildfire burning in a mountainous area 15 miles west of Fort Collins, Colorado, nearly doubled to 58 square miles, forcing hundreds of evacuations, and destroying at least 18 structures. June 11, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said 400 people were fighting the fire. The U.S. Forest Service said a federal team was slated to take over management of the fire. Strong winds grounded an aircraft fighting a 40-square-mile wildfire near Ruidoso, New Mexico. Crews were working to build a fire line around the fire, which started June 8 and damaged or destroyed 36 structures. A spokesman for the New Mexico State Forestry Division said the number of Ruidoso evacuees was in the hundreds. Both fires were dwarfed by the Whitewater-Baldy fire in southwest New Mexico — the largest in the State’s history — that charred 450 square miles of wilderness forest since mid-May. Firefighters June 10 battled a wildfire that blackened 6 square miles in Wyoming’s Guernsey State Park and forced the evacuation of between 500 and 1,000 campers and visitors. Authorities told people in Hartville to be ready to evacuate. In Colorado, the High Park Fire burned more than 20,000 acres, and up to 2,600 people were evacuated. Cooler weather helped firefighters in their battle against two wildfires in Utah. Firefighters said the Box Creek wildfire, which grew to 2,000 acres June 11, was 75 percent contained and would likely be fully controlled by June 12. Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57450164/rapidly-spreading-wildfires-choke-colo-n.m/


Banking and Finance Sector

12. June 9, Associated Press – (Arizona) ‘Home Team Bandit’ indicted for 7 bank robberies. A federal grand jury indicted a man who allegedly robbed seven banks west of Phoenix since August 2011. Prosecutors said June 8 the man was charged with four counts of bank robbery, three counts of armed bank robbery, and one count of use of a firearm during a crime of violence. Authorities said the suspect allegedly used demand notes to commit four bank robberies in August and September 2011. They say he allegedly used guns to commit three more bank robberies in February and April. Authorities dubbed him the “Home Team Bandit” because he usually wore a sports team hat or clothing during the robberies. Source: http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/18747140/man-indicted-for-7-bank-robberies-west-of-phoenix

13. June 9, Knoxville News Sentinel – (Tennessee; International) Former radio newsman confesses role in counterfeit money order conspiracy. A man pleaded guilty June 8 in Tennessee to the charge of conspiracy to counterfeit money orders. He was accused of being a middleman for scammers in Ghana who crafted more than $3 million in fake U.S. Postal Service (USPS) money orders and convinced Americans to cash them in return for a cut of the proceeds. He was charged in April after an investigation by a USPS inspector that began in October 2011 when U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents intercepted a package addressed to the man. It contained 703 counterfeit money orders totaling more than $695,000. Two more packages addressed to Addison Insurance were intercepted in March, containing more than 2,500 fake money orders totaling more than $2.5 million. Postal inspectors set up a sting in April and arrested the suspect. A plea agreement said the suspect was out of work and had posted a job-wanted advertisement. In September 2011, a man offered to pay the suspect $250 per week if he would parcel out fake money orders to payees whose names and addresses he was provided via e-mail. It was not clear from the plea agreement whether the man knew the money orders were fakes. Source: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jun/09/former-radio-newsman-confesses-role-in-money/

14. June 8, Courthouse News Service – (New York) Three attorneys looking at hard time. Three attorneys and a former attorney agreed June 8 to pay $30 million and pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and bank fraud in a $66 million mortgage fraud scheme involving more than 100 homes in the greater New York City area, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The attorneys were among 14 defendants in the indictment. The defendants agreed to forfeit $6.6 million, $10.7 million, $5.9 million, and $7.6 million, respectively. Five other defendants, including the leader of the fraud, have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Source: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/06/08/47276.htm

15. June 8, KPHO 5 Phoenix – (Arizona) PD: Homeless group steals thousands in AZ bank scheme. A homeless man was arrested for his role in a scheme to take tens of thousands of dollars from Tempe, Arizona-area Wells Fargo banks, KPHO 5 Phoenix reported June 8. He was arrested June 5. Police said between August and November 2011, a bank employee at Wells Fargo gave an accomplice private bank information. The accomplice recruited the homeless man and had him recruit other homeless people who frequented the downtown Tempe area to open accounts with local banks. Once the money was fraudulently deposited into their accounts, the homeless people would withdraw the cash and give it to the accomplice, minus a small amount they were allowed to keep for themselves. The accomplice would then divide the money with the bank employee. A total of $125,405 was taken from banks. Police identified unauthorized money transfers in the homeless man’s account and surveillance photos also linked him to the crime. Source: http://www.kpho.com/story/18743293/pd-homeless-group-steals-thousands-in-az-bank-scheme

16. June 8, Salt Lake Tribune – (National) Former Utahn at center of alleged DOD contracting scheme. A long-time U.S. Army reservist allegedly conspired with others to defraud the government of at least $15 million through rigged contracts, the Salt Lake Tribune reported June 8. Those contracts eventually totaled nearly $53 million for work during the transfer of security operations in Afghanistan, according to documents filed as part of a civil forfeiture complaint initiated by the government in federal court. In the forfeiture action, filed in 2011 under seal, the government laid claim to money and assets the man and others held in 13 different bank accounts; retirement and college saving funds; 20 different properties, including homes in Utah, Arizona, Florida, and New Hampshire; vehicles and airplanes; silver bars and gold coins; and a half dozen firearms. A federal judge issued a default judgment against the man in May, court documents showed. The judgment entitles the government to everything but a disputed St. George property. June 21, the judge will consider an emergency petition filed by American International Security Corp., the company the man worked for in Afghanistan, which is trying to reclaim $5.3 million in its frozen bank account. Source: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/54253971-78/harris-aisc-government-contract.html.csp

Information Technology Sector

42. June 11, H Security – (International) Simple authentication bypass for MySQL root revealed. Exploits for a recently revealed MySQL authentication bypass flaw are now in the wild, partly because the flaw is simple to exploit to gain root access to the database, experts said. The only mitigating factor appears to be that it depends on the C library with which the MySQL database was built. The bypass, assigned the vulnerability ID CVE-2012-2122, allows an attacker to gain root access by repeatedly trying to login with an incorrect password. Each attempt has a 1 in 256 chance of being given access. Source: http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/Simple-authentication-bypass-for-MySQL-root-revealed-1614990.html

43. June 10, MSNBC – (International) LinkedIn: So far, no user accounts breached. June 9, LinkedIn said none of the 6.5 million user passwords that were stolen and published on a Web site were used to access member accounts. So far, LinkedIn’s director wrote, “we have no reports of member accounts being breached as a result of the stolen passwords. Based on our investigation, all member passwords that we believe to be at risk have been disabled.” Source: http://www.technolog.msnbc.msn.com/technology/technolog/linkedin-so-far-no-user-accounts-breached-821629

44. June 8, Computerworld – (International) Adobe patches critical Flash bugs, ships sandboxed plug-in for Firefox. June 8, Adobe patched seven critical vulnerabilities in Flash Player — the fifth security update so far in 2012 — and released a sandboxed plug-in for Mozilla’s Firefox. The company also released the “silent update” tool for OS X, and said it prepped Flash for the upcoming OS X 10.8, Mountain Lion, by signing its code, a requirement if users are to install software downloaded from sources other than Apple’s own Mac App Store. “These updates address vulnerabilities that could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system,” said Adobe in an advisory published June 8. The flaws included memory corruption, integer and stack overflow, and security bypass bugs. One of the seven was tagged as a “binary planting” vulnerability in the Flash installer. Source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9227927/Adobe_patches_critical_Flash_bugs_ships_sandboxed_plug_in_for_Firefox

45. June 8, CNET – (International) eHarmony says no other info stolen following password hack. After confirming that member passwords were comprised, eHarmony said June 8 it was continuing to investigate the incident, but it appears no other information was taken. “While our investigation is ongoing, we have not found any indication that other information was accessed, nor have we received any reports of unauthorized log-ins to member accounts,” an eHarmony spokeswoman said. “We have also been working with law enforcement authorities in our investigation and have been in touch with one of the other companies affected as well.” Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57449878-83/eharmony-says-no-other-info-stolen-following-password-hack/

46. June 8, Inquirer – (International) The md5crypt() author says the algorithm is no longer secure. The author of md5crypt(), which is used to encrypt passwords on some FreeBSD and Linux-based operating systems, said it is no longer secure despite being recommended as a password hashing function. He implemented a researcher’s MD5 one-way hashing algorithm in his md5crypt() function that has been in use on FreeBSD and Linux-based operating systems for many years. Now, the author was forced to say md5crypt() is no longer secure after he claimed people were still recommending it for production use. Source: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2183126/md5crypt-author-algorithm-secure

Communications Sector

47. June 11, KUNC 91.5 FM Greeley – (Colorado) Temporary low power service restored to 91.5fm. An alternative temporary low power signal on KUNC 91.5 FM Greeley, Colorado, was established June 11. KUNC could be heard in parts of Weld and Larimer County after going off-air June 9 due to a power loss. KUNC also reestablished service on 102.7 FM in Boulder. The main transmitter site for KUNC at Buckhorn Mountain, Colorado, was under threat from the High Park Fire. It houses the county communications gear and is the hub for radio traffic for crews fighting the fire. June 9, KUNC was off the air on its main frequency, 91.5 FM. Larimer County equipment was operating on backup battery power. Source: http://kunc.org/post/temporary-low-power-service-restored-915fm

48. June 8, KABB 29 San Antonio – (Texas) Copper thieves busted in Atascosa County. Deputies in Atascosa County, Texas, caught three people trying to steal copper from a cell phone tower. The Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office said the suspects were caught June 8 near Interstate 37 and Highway 281. According to investigators, the trio had roughly 1,500 feet of stolen copper wiring in their possession. Officials believed the trio was involved in several other copper thefts in the area. One of the suspects also had an active warrant for copper theft in Guadalupe County. Source: http://www.foxsanantonio.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/vid_10610.shtml

For more stories, see items 43 and 45 above in the Information Technology Sector