Friday, March 28, 2008

Daily Report

• According to the Associated Press, federal officials are investigating a problem with electrical transformers at the Exelon Generation Company’s Byron Nuclear Power Plant in northern Illinois. Officials at the plant said the incident presents no threat to public safety. (See item 11)

• Fox News reports the Virginia State Police said that at least four cars were struck by bullets along an 11-mile stretch of the highway. A Virginia Department of Transportation vehicle was found with bullet holes near an exit for I-64 along Route 250, FOX News has confirmed. The freeway was shut down between about midnight and 6 a.m. Thursday, and Albemarle County Schools were closed. (See item 13)

Information Technology

34. March 26, IDG News Service – (National) Hackers seize on Excel vulnerability. Researchers at Symantec Corp. said late Tuesday they have spotted a Web site that tries to exploit computers lacking one of the recently issued patches for versions of Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet program. The vulnerability involves a malicious Excel file that when opened can allow a hacker to execute other code on a PC. In its advisory, Symantec said one Web server is hosting the malicious file, which it calls Trojan.Mdropper.AA. Users could become infected if they open the malicious Excel filsent to them as an e-mail attachment. Also, they could be redirected to the Web site hosting the file by an iFrame embedded in a page on a compromised Web site, the vendor said.

Communications Sector

35. March 26, Reuters – (National) Wireless carriers get a break on E911 support. An appeals court on Tuesday put the brakes on stricter standards that regulators are seeking to impose on wireless phone carriers to help police and firefighters more accurately locate callers in an emergency. The stay had been sought by a group of rural wireless phone companies who, along with major carriers such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint Nextel Corp, had sought to stop the new standards from going into effect while they pursue an appeal. The new standards are aimed at allowing public safety workers to find someone who has dialed 911 from a cellular telephone. The new standards would require wireless carriers to meet location accuracy standards within the area of each local emergency call center.