Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Monday, February 10, 2009

Complete DHS Daily Report for February 10, 2009

Daily Report


 According to AVweb, the Federal Aviation Administration admits that it is relaxing lightning protection standards for commercial aircraft because manufacturers, notably Boeing with the 787, can not meet the rules that have been in place since 2001. (See item 14)

14. February 8, AVweb – (National) FAA relaxes lightning protection for 787. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) admits that it is relaxing lightning protection standards for commercial aircraft because manufacturers, notably Boeing with the 787, cannot meet the rules that have been in place since 2001. “To this day, we have not had one manufacturer that has been able to demonstrate compliance with that rule,” said the head of the FAA’s Seattle office dealing with commercial-airplane certification. “We decided it’s time to re-evaluate our approach.” In the 787’s case, that re-evaluation involves allowing a single level of spark protection for some parts in the fuel tanks and wings rather than the triple redundancy that the 2001 rule requires. The FAA and Boeing argue that a new system that will pump inert nitrogen into the void of emptying fuel tanks more than makes up for the lessened spark protection but FAA inspectors, many of them former Boeing employees, have formally challenged that view. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association submitted a formal critique to the agency saying the relaxed standards put the 787 “one failure away from catastrophe.” While the engineers say the tank inerting system is a big improvement, they note that the aircraft’s certification will allow it to fly without the system operating if it breaks down. Boeing insists the 787 will be the most lightning-resistant aircraft ever made. Source:

 The Associated Press reports that a holding tank at a Caterpillar facility in a Chicago suburb broke Sunday, spilling about 65,000 gallons of oil sludge and contaminating a 3-mile section of the Des Plaines River. (See item 20)

20. February 9, Associated Press – (Illinois) 65,000 gallons of oil sludge spills near Chicago. A holding tank at a Caterpillar facility in a Chicago suburb broke Sunday, spilling about 65,000 gallons of oil sludge and contaminating a 3-mile section of the Des Plaines River, officials said. The substance was reported to be hydraulic and cutting oil, said a spokeswoman for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. “It is being contained, and there is no evidence of a fish kill or harm to water fowl,” she said in an e-mail. Most of the sludge spilled on land, but 6,000 gallons seeped into Des Plaines River water, a U.S. Coast Guard petty officer said. He said the oil waste poses no risk to human health but could be dangerous to animals in the contaminated area. The Coast Guard said barge and boat traffic along the river had been stopped. Caterpillar Inc., the Peoria-based maker of mining and construction machinery, confirmed in a statement Sunday that “an undetermined amount of waste oil” overflowed from a storage area at the company’s manufacturing facility in Joliet. The Environmental Protection Agency said the oil waste leaked when a pump failed on a 40,000-gallon open-air holding tank. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

10. February 8, MarketWatch – (California; Georgia) Two banks in California, 1 in Georgia are closed. Regulators shut two banks in California and one in the Atlanta area on February 6, bringing the number of U.S. failures this year to nine, while marking the 34th collapse since the recession began. FirstBank Financial Services, McDonough, Georgia, Alliance Bank of Culver City, California, and County Bank, Merced, California, were seized, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC). Regions Bank of Birmingham, Alabama, has agreed to assume all of FirstBank’s deposits and purchase roughly $17 million of the failed bank’s assets, the FDIC said. As for California’s Alliance Bank, San Diego-based California Bank & Trust has agreed to assume the failed bank’s deposits, the FDIC said. Finally, regarding County Bank, Westamerica Bancorp, San Rafael, California, will buy the bank’s assets and assume its deposits. Source:{0ADB4918-43F9-46A3-8EDD-19A2503A81B3}&dist=msr_2

11. February 6, Associated Press – (National) Calif. fugitive charged in $100M mortgage fraud. Federal prosecutors said February 6 that they charged a suspect in a $100 million mortgage fraud and investment scheme that spanned five states after he fled the country in a private jet the week of February 1-7. Two assistant U.S. attorneys said the 27-year-old suspect had been cooperating in their investigation before he fled. They believe he flew to Mexico on February 2 by chartering a private jet for $156,000. Federal agents are investigating the suspect, directors of Loomis Wealth Solutions, a Roseville, California-based investment company, and people affiliated with several related companies. A sworn statement by an Internal Revenue Service agent says they had defrauded investors and mortgage companies of $100 million since 2006, although an attorney for the owner of Loomis Wealth Solutions denied his client did anything illegal. The suspects arrest warrant says the scam involved 500 properties in at least five states, including Arizona, California, Florida, and Illinois. The fifth state was not disclosed. New York-based Citimortgage Inc. alone lost more than $6 million on 15 bogus loans, according to the IRS affidavit. The other lenders were not listed. Source:

Information Technology

37. February 9, ComputerWeekly – (International) Kaspersky’s Web site hacked. Security firm Kaspersky has downplayed claims that its U.S. Web site was hacked over the weekend, exposing a database containing customer details. A hacker claimed in a blog posting that he was able to access Kasperky’s databases containing customer details including users, administrators, activation codes and e-mail addresses. A posting on Hackers Blog said the SQL injection vulnerability in is very real, but Kaspersky “does not need to worry about us spreading their confidential stuff.” “Our staff will never save or keep any confidential data, we just point our fingers to big websites with security problems,” the posting said. Kaspersky has admitted a vulnerability in a section of the site, but said the problem was fixed within half an hour of detection, according to the Tech Herald. “The vulnerability was not critical and no data was compromised from the site,” the company said in a statement. Source:

38. February 6, DarkReading – (International) Doubling of rejected mail makes China ‘top of the bots.’ A massive increase in spam originating from China and the Far East could mark the beginning of a worrying trend that will create more problems for organizations already struggling to cope with unwanted emails. The rise could potentially outweigh any lasting gains from more sophisticated detection and enforcement efforts in the United States and Europe which recently saw a reduction of spam following the shutdown of McColo, the California-based Internet service provider, in November 2008. Latest figures from U.K. security specialist iCritical show that mail from Chinese IP addresses rejected by the company’s servers before reaching client accounts more than doubled from 10.4 million in November 2008 to 22.9 million in December. In the same period, mail from Vietnam rose 62 percent from 2.9 million to 4.7 million and from South Korea nearly 26 percent from 6.2 million to 7.8 million. Illegitimate mail originating in the other five highest spam-producing countries — the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Brazil, and Turkey — all fell significantly in the fourth quarter of 2008. According to iCritical, total spam levels from all eight countries fell from a height of 137.5 million in October to 72.3 million in December, suggesting that the closure of McColo and the prolific botnets it hosted has had a greater effect than some had predicted. Source:

Communications Sector

Nothing to report

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