Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Monday, February 11, 2009

Complete DHS Daily Report for February 11, 2009

Daily Report


 According to Reuters, an oil tanker carrying around $9 million worth of petroleum products collided with a container vessel off the Dubai coast on Tuesday, setting both vessels on fire and sending up a thick plume of black smoke. (See item 1)

1. February 10, Reuters – (International) Oil tanker in collision and burning off Dubai. An oil tanker carrying around $9 million worth of petroleum products was in collision with a container vessel off the Dubai coast on Tuesday, setting both vessels on fire and sending up a thick plume of black smoke. The tanker, called the Kashmir, was built in 1988. It was carrying some 30,000 tons of oil condensates from Iran to the United Arab Emirates port of Jebel Ali, oil industry sources said. The second ship was a container vessel called Sima Buoy, which was leaving the port when the incident took place, ship brokers said. The two vessels collided around seven nautical miles from Jebel Ali port. It was not immediately clear what caused the incident, but one witness said the oil tanker appeared to be badly damaged. Oil industry sources said the fire did not involve any of Dubai’s offshore oil platforms. Source:

 The Associated Press reports that hackers broke into the Federal Aviation Administration’s computer system during the week of February 2-6, accessing the names and Social Security numbers of 45,000 employees and retirees. (See item 31)

31. February 10, Associated Press – (National) FAA says hackers accessed personal data in agency computers. Hackers broke into the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) computer system during the week of February 2-6, accessing the names and Social Security numbers of 45,000 employees and retirees. The agency said in a statement on February 9 that two of the 48 files on the breached computer server contained personal information about employees and retires who were on the FAA’s rolls as of the first week of February 2006.The server that was accessed was not connected to the operation of the air traffic control system and there is no indication those systems have been compromised, the statement said. “These government systems should be the best in the world and apparently they are able to be compromised,” said an FAA contracts attorney. “Our information technology systems people need to take a long hard look at themselves and their capabilities. This is malpractice in their world.” The FAA statement said the data theft has been reported to “law enforcement authorities,” who are investigating. All affected employees will receive letters notifying them of the breach, the statement said. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

10. February 10, Bradenton Herald – (Florida) Bank fraud mastermind arrested. The accused mastermind of an $83 million bank-fraud scheme involving land sales in Manatee and Sarasota counties has been arrested in Jordan, a federal prosecutor said on February 9 during the trial of a co-defendant. The defendant, formerly of Sarasota, has since been released on bond, the assistant U.S. attorney said on the opening day of the co-defendant’s trial in Tampa. The assistant U.S. attorney did not say when the defendant was arrested. The defendant is accused of buying seven parcels for $43 million, reselling them to the co-defendant and others for $117 million and helping the buyers obtain $83 million in bank loans. The co-defendant has pleaded not guilty, while two others have pleaded guilty as part of deals. Source:

11. February 10, Washington Post – (National) SEC reaches deal with Madoff. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced an agreement with a disgraced money manager that could eventually force him to pay a civil fine and return money raised from investors. The partial judgment, which renders permanent a preliminary injunction that froze the money manager’s assets after his arrest in December 2008, must be approved by the federal judge overseeing the case. The civil proceeding is separate from the criminal case against the prominent Wall Street figure, who is accused of bilking $50 billion from investors. The SEC said the defendant agreed to the partial judgment without admitting or denying the allegations in its civil complaint. However, the agreement says the defendant cannot contest the “facts” of the complaint for the purposes of determining his obligation to pay civil fines and restitution — which will be specified later. The SEC says the basic facts of the complaint are that the defendant committed a $50 billion fraud and told his sons his investment business was a sham. Source:

Information Technology

36. February 10, Computerworld – (International) Verizon expands DoS defenses in 24 countries. Verizon Business on February 10 announced a global expansion of its WAN-based service to detect and defend against denial-of-service attacks. Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications Inc., said it has added a detection component to its DoS Defense service for mitigating DoS attacks. The monthly price for the service is $5,500 for both mitigation and detection. No customer on-premises equipment is required, since all the detection and mitigation is managed in the cloud over the Verizon IP network backbone and with several Verizon security centers, including three in the United States, said Verizon’s director of product management for DoS Defense. The detection component of DoS Defense works by scanning Internet traffic flow for suspicious activity, while the mitigation component diverts malicious traffic away from a customer’s network, he said. A Copenhagen-based Current Analysis Inc. analyst said Verizon is expanding its previous defense service in this offering by guaranteeing customers that it will stop a DoS attack within 15 minutes of an alert. The service does not provide an automatic Web defense, which might be undesirable for some companies. For example, a sudden surge of traffic to a retail Web site might be explained because the company has a special sale going on, the analyst said. Source:

37. February 9, DarkReading – (International) Hacker lays claim to breaches of two security vendors’ Web sites. A single Romanian hacker claims he has broken through the Web site defenses of two prominent security vendors in an attempt to show vulnerabilities in their security. Kaspersky, one of the industry’s best-known antivirus and security software makers, gave a press conference on February 9 confirming that a Romanian hacker had launched an SQL injection attack on its newly implemented U.S. customer support site, exposing a potentially data-threatening vulnerability in its Web site. The attacker did not publish any sensitive data, even though he could have gained access to it, Kaspersky said. The hacker, known as “unu,” claims to have launched a similar SQL injection attack on the Web site of security vendor BitDefender in Portugal. “It seems Kaspersky are not the only ones who need to secure their database. Bitdefender has the same problems,” unu said in an online message. As of this posting, BitDefender had not confirmed whether unu’s claims were accurate. Source:

Communications Sector

Nothing to report

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