Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Complete DHS Daily Report for October 29, 2008

Daily Report


 USA Today reports that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration expects by next fall to lift restrictions that limit airline passengers to carrying 3-ounce bottles of liquids, gels, and aerosols in airplane cabins, according to an announcement on the agency’s website. (See item 14)

14. October 27, USA Today – (National) TSA likely to ease restrictions on liquids in 2009. Airline passengers will likely be able to carry large bottles of liquids on airplanes by sometime in 2009, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says. The TSA expects by next fall to lift restrictions that limit passengers to carrying 3-ounce bottles of liquids, gels and aerosols in airplane cabins, according to an announcement on the agency’s website. Passengers would still have to remove liquids from carry-on bags at airport checkpoints and put them through X-ray machines separately. By the end of 2010, passengers should be able to keep liquids as they go through checkpoints. The changes are expected because better technology will enable checkpoint X-ray machines to spot dangerous liquids. X-ray machines currently cannot tell the difference between harmless fluids and explosives. Easing the restrictions could also speed up security lines, said the chairman of the Business Travel Coalition. Source:

 According to Reuters, two white supremacist skinheads were arrested in Tennessee over plans to go on a killing spree and eventually shoot the Democratic presidential candidate, court documents showed on Monday. (See item 28)

28. October 28, Reuters – (National) Skinheads held over plot to kill Obama. Two white supremacist skinheads were arrested in Tennessee over plans to go on a killing spree and eventually shoot the Democratic presidential candidate, court documents showed on Monday. The two suspects were charged in a criminal complaint with making threats against a presidential candidate, illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun, and conspiracy to rob a gun dealer. The plot did not appear to be very advanced or sophisticated, the court documents showed. The men stole guns from family members and also had a sawed-off shotgun. They planned to target a predominately black school, going state to state while robbing individuals, and continuing to kill people, said a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in an affidavit. “They further stated that their final act of violence would be to attempt to kill/assassinate presidential candidate Barack Obama,” he said. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

10. October 28, Associated Press – (National) Businessman sentenced in $107M bank fraud. A businessman has been sentenced to nine years and nine months after pleading guilty to charges related to bilking $107 million from a taxpayer-funded bank. The businessman was ordered by a U.S. District Judge on Monday to pay $10 million in restitution, equal to his profits from the scheme, and $494,822 in back taxes. The judge also ordered him to serve three years of federal supervision after he is released from prison. He pleaded guilty in August to wire fraud, conspiracy, tax evasion, money laundering and filing false tax reports and faced up to 10 years in prison, as part of a plea deal. Bank officials testified that the man exploited Export-Import Bank’s medium-term loan guarantee program, forcing the bank to make good on $107 million in loans that went into default. The man also allegedly caused another $10 million in losses to Vinmar Finance Ltd., a commercial lender in Houston that he had turned to in 2005 when the Export-Import Bank stalled in issuing loan guarantees to Parker’s clients. Source:

11. October 28, Greenville Sun – (Tennessee) E-mail scam reported involving credit union. Several Greeneville residents reported receiving e-mail on Friday purportedly from a Georgia credit union that warned of restrictions placed on the recipients’ accounts. The credit union e-mail says employees are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to handle calls. A TIC Federal Credit Union spokesman said the e-mail messages were part of a “phishing scam” designed to defraud those who respond by return phone call. Source:

Information Technology

32. October 28, SC Magazine – (International) Yahoo’s HotJobs site vulnerable to cross-site scripting attack. Internet research firm Netcraft’s toolbar has detected a cross-site scripting bug in Yahoo that could be exploited to steal authentication cookies. The flaw resides on Yahoo’s HotJobs search engine site, on which hackers embedded malicious JavaScript code, an employee of Netcraft said in a blog post on October 26. The pilfered credentials could enable the attackers access to the victims’ Yahoo accounts, including email. This vulnerability is similar to another bug that affected Yahoo earlier this year, he said. “Simply visiting the malign URLs on can be enough for a victim to fall prey to the attacker, letting him steal the necessary session cookies to gain access to the victim’s email the victim does not even have to type in their username and password for the attacker to do this,” the Netcraft employee wrote. “Both attacks send the victim to a blank webpage, leaving them unlikely to realize that their own account has just been compromised.” He said websites must protect cookie values. Netcraft notified Yahoo about the flaw. Source:

33. October 27, SC Magazine – (International) Malicious spam sees eight-fold jump in six months. The incidence of malicious spam attachments has increased eight-fold during the past six months, according to the third-quarter spam report released today by IT security and control firm, Sophos. During July to September, one in every 416 email messages contained a malicious attachment, compared to one in every 3,333 emails in the previous quarter, the report states. Data for the report is generated through global spam traps email addresses not used for legitimate purposes that have been set up or bought from now-defunct companies, according to a senior security analyst at Sophos. Other report findings indicate that the United Sates tops the list of the dirty dozen or top twelve countries that are responsible for relaying spam across the globe. Compromised computers in the United States sent out 18.9 percent of all spam, followed by Russia (8.3 percent), Turkey (8.2 percent), China (5.4 percent), Brazil (4.5 percent), South Korea (3.8 percent), India (3.5 percent), Argentina (2.9 percent), Italy (2.8 percent) and the United Kingdom (2.7 percent), Columbia (2.5 percent) and Thailand (2.4 percent). Even though the United States consistently tops the dirty dozen list, its lead has narrowed compared to previous quarters, when the nation’s compromised computers sent out approximately half of all spam. Entering the dirty dozen this month are India, Columbia and Thailand. The report also states that social engineering exploits are on the rise and spammers have increasingly used social networking websites to spread malware a trend Sophos researchers expect to continue to rise Source:

34. October 27, Dark Reading – (National) Internet apps & social networking office boom linked to breaches. According to a new survey, by FaceTime Communications Inc., organizations where more employees are using social networking at work now than six months ago have experienced more security incidents. Nearly 60 percent of all IT managers surveyed reported that their users social-network at the office. Of those organizations, the ones where the number of users using social networking increased compared to six months ago experienced an average of 39 security incidents a month, requiring 24 hours worth of remediation. Those with about the same or fewer users of social networking at work experienced around 22 or 23 such incidents a month, with about half the remediation time. The overall survey looked at the use of Internet-based applications like Facebook, LinkedIn, instant messaging, and voice-over-IP. The report surveyed over 500 employees and IT managers, over half of which work at organizations with over 1,000 employees. Among the most surprising finds in the report was that one third of the employees surveyed said they had the right to run these applications on their desktop, even if it was a violation of IT policy. Another red flag was when it came to data leaks at these organizations: four in 10 IT managers said they had experienced security incidents that were purposeful, while 27 percent had seen “unintentional release of corporate information” occur. Source:

Communications Sector

35. October 28, Daily Telegraph – (National) G1 ‘Google phone’ security flaw found. A team of computer security experts have found a “serious flaw” in the operating system used on Google’s first ever mobile phone, the T-Mobile G1. The phone, which runs the Android operating system, an open source platform developed in part by Google, went on sale in the U.S. last Wednesday. According to one of the computer specialists who discovered the flaw, hackers could have used the security loophole to trick G1 users into visiting a rogue website, which would in turn secretly install keystroke-logging software onto the phone. That would enable hackers to remotely monitor and record what buttons the user pressed, and could have made it easy to steal identity information, such as logins and passwords, for banking or shopping websites. Source:

No comments: