Monday, January 28, 2008

Daily Report

• According to the Associated Press, a teenage passenger was arrested in Nashville for plotting to hijack a plane from Los Angeles to Nashville, the FBI said Friday. The official said the teen had handcuffs, rope, and duct tape in his bag and was believed to be traveling alone. The teen is believed to be suicidal, he said. (See item 11)

• KTAR 92.3 Phoenix reports that emergency personnel in Arizona are working overtime to make sure everyone stays safe during the upcoming Superbowl and Golf Tournament, both of which are taking place in the Phoenix area on the weekend of February 2. They have enhanced their biological and chemical terrorism surveillance systems within the State Public Health Laboratory. Authorities said there have been no terror threats against the Super Bowl to date. (See item 31)

Information Technology

27. January 24, Vnunet – (International) Stakeholders gear up for e-Crime Congress 2008. Over 500 delegates from global businesses, governments, and law enforcement agencies will meet in London in March at the e-Crime Congress 2008 to discuss cyberthreats and electronic crime. Identity theft and fraud continue to threaten security and consumer confidence, but last year saw an increasing number of attacks on the IT infrastructure of companies and governments. A senior architect at security firm MessageLabs told in a recent interview about a shadow economy in the underground world of hackers, which closely mimics traditional economic models.

28. January 24, ZDNet News – (International) Symantec warns of router compromise. Security company Symantec has warned of an attack involving the subversion of routers. The security company said this was the first time it had seen such an attack “in the wild.” In the attack, which targeted users of an undisclosed Mexican bank, the intended victims received a spam e-mail claiming they had received an e-card, directing them to, a Spanish-language e-card site. However, the e-mail also had embedded HTML image tags that contained an HTTP get-request to the router to change its Domain Name System settings, according to Symantec’s U.K. manager of quality assurance. The HTTP get-request redirects traffic flowing over the router to a specific IP address when the user attempts to access six domain names that are banking-related. Symantec requested that ZDNet U.K. not publish the IP address. The attack is made possible by a cross-site scripting vulnerability in routers made by broadband-equipment company 2Wire that was reported in August last year, according to Symantec.

Communications Sector

29. January 25, Post and Courier – (South Carolina) Task force to promote broadband access. A group of local community and business leaders has formed a task force to help roll out broadband Internet access to more of Charleston’s minorities and low-income residents. The 22-person council was announced this week by the Alliance for Digital Equality, a year-old Atlanta-based nonprofit devoted to finding ways to bridge the “digital divide” between minority and majority communities. South Carolina is plugging into broadband much more slowly than the rest of the country. At the end of 2006, 34 percent of South Carolina homes had a high-speed Internet line, compared with 46 percent of all U.S. homes, according to the Federal Communications Commission and the Census Bureau. The Alliance for Digital Equality is organizing similar councils in Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, and Miami. Its goal is to bring together elected officials, consumers and the business leaders to educate minority communities about the importance and benefits of broadband usage.

30. January 24, Computerworld – (National) FCC auction reaches $2.8B for 700-MHz wireless licenses. At the close of the first full day of bidding for 700-MHz wireless spectrum today, the Federal Communications Commission reported nearly $2.8 billion in provisional winning bids. There were 1,122 new bids filed in the second of two rounds that were held in the afternoon. The total value of all provisional bid winners jumped 15 percent from the morning bidding round, when $2.4 billion was offered. A total of 1,099 licenses can be bid upon, although only 902 had received bids by the end of the day. All the bids are filed anonymously and bidders are prohibited from publicly discussing their bids in an effort to reduce anticompetitive behavior, the FCC said.