Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Complete DHS Daily Report for October 28, 2008

Daily Report


 According to Defense News, all 636 F/A-18 Hornets flown by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are being inspected for possible cracks in a wing flap hinge, the Navy said October 24. (See item 10)

10. October 24, Defense News – (National) U.S. Navy inspecting Hornet fleet. All 636 F/A-18 Hornets flown by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are being inspected for possible cracks in a wing flap hinge, the Navy said October 24. The problem affects only A through D models of the Hornet strike fighter, and not F/A-18 E and F Super Hornets. The Hornets are not being grounded, said a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon. But each aircraft will need its flap hinges inspected before being flown more than an additional 15 hours. The issue came to light during a post-flight maintenance inspection by Marine Strike Fighter Squadron 224 (VMFA-224), a Beaufort, South Carolina-based squadron that flies the two-seat F/A-18D. Cracks were discovered in the VMFA-224 aircraft’s aluminum outer wing panel outboard aileron hinge, the Navy said in a statement. The inspection bulletin, number AYB-1249, was issued after 15 aircraft were found with the problem. Aircraft that fail the inspections will be grounded or flight-restricted until the problem is fixed. “We expect to have the majority of the legacy Hornet fleet inspected within a couple of weeks,” said the Navy spokesman at the Pentagon. The outer wing panel outboard aileron hinge is a critical safety item part, according to the Navy. The Hornets were all manufactured by McDonnell Douglas, now a part of Boeing. Source:

 CNN reports that two students were killed and another person was wounded in a shooting at the University of Central Arkansas on Sunday evening. The shooting prompted a campus lockdown and the cancellation of Monday classes. (See item 25)

25. October 27, CNN – (Arkansas) 2 dead in Arkansas campus shooting; one suspect in custody. Two students were killed and another person was wounded in a shooting at the University of Central Arkansas on Sunday evening, according to a hospital spokesman. The shooting, which happened outside a dorm, prompted a campus lockdown and the cancellation of Monday classes. One person was detained for questioning but has not been arrested according to a spokesman for the campus police. Faculty and students were called and e-mailed through an automated system after 9:30 p.m. Sunday about the shooting. The messages urged them to stay inside and lock doors, according to The Associated Press. It was first time the system had been used since the university purchased it after the Virginia Tech massacre last year. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

11. October 27, Reuters – (National) Treasury: First 9 banks to get funds this week. The U.S. Treasury will begin sending $125 billion to the first nine banks to sign up for its capital program early this week, and is willing to listen to other industries seeking government assistance, a senior Treasury official said. The U.S. Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions told CNBC television that the Treasury executed final investment agreements with the nine banks on Sunday. He declined to rule out capital injections for insurers and other companies but said there were significant questions about how such investments would work and whether they were needed for financial stability. Source:

12. October 26, Atlanta Journal-Constitution – (Georgia) Alpha will reopen as Stearns. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. officials spent the weekend combing through Alpha Bank’s records so the institution can open Monday as Stearns Bank, said a regional ombudsman with the deposit insurance company. Alpha was the third bank failure in Georgia to follow the real estate slump, mortgage meltdown and credit crunch. According to the FDIC, Alpha Bank had total assets of $354.1 million and total deposits of $346.2 million as of September. 30. Alpha also had approximately $16.8 million in brokered deposits that were not part of Friday’s transaction. The FDIC will pay the brokers directly for the amount of their insured funds, an FDIC news release said. Additionally, the news release said at the time of closing, there were approximately $3.1 million in uninsured deposits held in approximately 59 accounts that potentially exceeded the insurance limits. This amount is an estimate that is likely to change once the FDIC obtains additional information from these customers. Source:

13. October 25, Consumer Affairs – (National) Feds issue new identity theft recommendations. The current administration issued its annual Identity Theft Task Force Report, including 31 recommendations for combating identity theft and fraud, and boasting of a 26 percent increase in identity theft convictions from 2007. The Task Force recommended that the government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) take the lead in reviewing how federal agencies use Social Security numbers and issuing new recommendations for reducing or eliminating their use in everyday paperwork. The Justice Department also reported progress in identifying and prosecuting criminal groups that traffic in the “underground economy” of stolen credit cards and personal information, including members of the “Shadowcrew” identity theft cartel. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is part of the Task Force, announced that it would be delaying implementation of the “red flags rules” for businesses to implement identity theft protection plans until May 1, 2009. Businesses covered by the rules included banks, mortgage lenders, telecommunications companies, auto dealerships, and many others. Source:

Information Technology

29. October 26, redOrbit – (International) Hackers exploit Microsoft bug. Just one day after Microsoft distributed a rare emergency security patch, hackers have found new ways to exploit the bug. Security researchers identified a new worm called Gimmiv on October 24 after a hacker had posted an early sample of code that could be used to take advantage of the flaw on the Internet. Since the bug could be used to create an Internet worm attack, Microsoft issued the patch more than two weeks ahead of its next security update. In fact, the software giant said it had already witnessed a small number of attacks that exploited the flaw. According to a New York Times report, the vulnerability lies in the Windows Server service used to connect with other devices on networks. And while the Windows firewall software will block the worm from spreading, experts worry the flaw could be used to spread infections between machines on a local area network (LAN), which are typically not protected by firewalls. That is precisely what the Gimmiv worm intends to do, said a Symantec senior research manager. Both Symantec and McAfee said October 24 that they had only seen a very small number of attacks based on Gimmiv. However, Symantec reported a 25 percent jump in network scans searching for vulnerable machines beginning the evening of October 23. The searches could signal that more attacks are on the way, Symantec said.


30. October 24, WGBA 26 Green Bay – (National) Better Business Bureau warns of e-mail scam. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns of a computer virus scam. The scammers are posing as the BBB asking you to register for software or to update your information. The scammers pick credible agencies like the BBB to gain trust. On the morning of October 24, the scammers sent out a massive attack preying on people’s e-mail. They altered their mail message to match the BBB, but more than five million e-mails did not go through and bounced back to the BBB office. That is how the BBB knew the scammers sent out a massive attack on consumers. This is a new scam, but the BBB hopes that by warning consumers early they will prevent them from becoming a victim. Source:

Communications Sector

Nothing to report