Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Monday, February 2, 2009

Complete DHS Daily Report for February 2, 2009

Daily Report


 The Associated Press reports that US Airways said Thursday its computer system returned to normal after a cut fiber-optic cable delayed about 100 flights. The cable was accidentally cut near one of the airline’s Phoenix data centers. (See item 12)

12. January 29, Associated Press – (National) Computer problem delays US Airways flights. US Airways said Thursday its computer system is returning to normal after a cut cable delayed about 100 flights. The airline said that a fiber-optic cable was accidentally cut near one of its Phoenix data centers, affecting its flight dispatch and airport computer systems. US Airways said no flights were delayed for more than an hour because of the problem. The carrier said its systems were coming back on line Thursday evening, but customers were advised to check with the airline about their flight’s status. US Airways has about 3,100 flights a day to destinations in the United States, Canada, and international cities. Source:

 According to a new report released Thursday by the University of New Hampshire and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the existing infrastructure for responding to maritime accidents in the Arctic is limited and more needs to be done to enhance emergency response capacity as Arctic sea ice declines and ship traffic in the region increases. (See item 26)

26. January 29, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – (International) UNH/NOAA report: Arctic region underprepared for maritime accidents. The existing infrastructure for responding to maritime accidents in the Arctic is limited and more needs to be done to enhance emergency response capacity as Arctic sea ice declines and ship traffic in the region increases, according to a new report released Thursday by the University of New Hampshire and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report details findings from a panel of experts and

decision-makers from Arctic nation governments, industry and indigenous communities convened by the Coastal Response Research Center, a UNH-NOAA partnership housed at the university. The panel, which included representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Arctic Research Commission, assessed the potential threat of maritime accidents in the Arctic and the ability of nations in the region to respond effectively to vessels in distress, oil spills and other situations. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

9. January 30, Bloomberg – (New York) Dreier, jailed lawyer, indicted in $400 million fraud scheme. The New York law firm founder accused of cheating hedge funds and other investors of more than $400 million was indicted by a federal grand jury. The indictment, made public on January 29 in federal court in Manhattan, follows the defendants December 7, 2008, arrest on charges that he persuaded two hedge funds to give him more than $100 million by falsely claiming he was selling at a discount notes issued by a New York developer. Prosecutors later said investors’ losses exceeded $400 million, a figure repeated in the indictment. “The defendant conspired to engage in securities and wire fraud,” the acting U.S. Attorney in New York said in a statement announcing the seven-count indictment. The indictment expands the number of charges against the defendant, which says his scheme began in 2004, and identifies new crimes he allegedly committed. Among them were the embezzlement of client funds and the sale of fake promissory notes purportedly issued by a Canadian pension plan. Source:

10. January 29, Bloomberg – (New York) Banks agree to send $535 million to Madoff trustee. Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to transfer about $535 million in the accounts of collapsed trading firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC to the trustee liquidating the brokerage. Bank of New York agreed to transfer $301.4 million and JPMorgan agreed to transfer another $233.5 million, according to court papers filed on January 29 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. The banks will send the funds to the trustee by February 6 and the trustee agreed to indemnify the banks against any claims brought as a result of the transfers, according to court documents. A hearing on the agreements is scheduled for February 4. The trustee was named trustee of Madoff Securities by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. on December 15, 2008, four days after prosecutors said the defendant confessed to operating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. The trustee’s job is to liquidate the brokerage and find assets and distribute them to the firm’s customers. Source:

11. January 30, Infozine – (National) Phishing scam targeting Missourians with bogus ‘card services’ calls. Consumers have contacted the Missouri attorney general’s office saying a caller claims to be from a company called Card Services, asking them to enter their credit card number to see if they qualify for a better rate. This is simply an attempt by thieves to steal credit card numbers. In the phone call, consumers are led to believe they are being contacted by their credit card company and they are asked to dial a number, usually 9, if they are interested in trying to get a lower interest rate. The attorney general says in phishing scams like this, with thieves fishing for personal information, the crooks can steal credit card numbers, use them in a matter of minutes through online purchases and run up big charges that appear later on the consumer’s credit card statement. Source:

Information Technology

27. January 29, CNET News – (International) ‘Obama worm’ probably a student prank, experts say. A new Internet worm that displays an image of the U.S. President is likely a prank by a student, several security experts speculated on January 29. Walling Data, a distributor of AVG security software, said the worm it discovered on computers at an Illinois grade school spreads via external devices like USB drives and network shares. Once a week, on Mondays, it displays a photo of U.S. President’s face in the lower right corner of screens on infected computers, but otherwise appears to be more of a nuisance than a threat. The worm looks like a variant of MAL_OTORUN code that spreads using thumb drives and network shares, said a senior threat analyst and researcher at Trend Micro. “Someone played around with one of the many number of DIY malware kits and just added this small social engineering bait of the U.S. Presidents picture,” he wrote in an e-mail. Given that it lacks a malicious payload, “it is probably some prank by a student since today’s ‘serious’ malware, as you may have noticed, would have at least installed a keylogger to steal some information.” Source:

Communications Sector

28. January 29, Friday Morning Quarter Back – (National) Severe storms build case for radio in cell phones. With much of the country being hit by severe weather and snow storms, some would argue that the importance of building cell phones with FM radio capability is stronger than ever. The Emmis Communications Chairman & CEO echoed this sentiment by sharing a memo that was sent to him by the president of the Cromwell Group, which operates 22 radio stations in the Midwest. The chairman wrote: “Owensboro, Kentucky is now a federal disaster area. There is no local communication except for our radio stations that are on the air, thanks to a very dedicated staff. No Cell, No Telephone, No Long Distance, No Cable, 80 percent No Electric, No communication except Local Radio and Evansville Radio/TV from 30 miles away. If there ever was a case for FM receivers in cell phones, this is it. This is a wide spread disaster where all communication has been disrupted, except for over-the-air radio. Everyone has a cell phone (now useless). The cell phone would not be useless if it had an FM radio in it.” Sharing the memo via e-mail, the president of Cromwell Group goes on to stress that as the radio industry looks for ways to revitalize itself, it is important to remember how vital the medium is in times of crisis.” Radio is where people turn to when they need information. If cell phones had FM receivers, we could have served an even wider audience suffering through this storm, looking for updates on the weather, roads and schools,” he said. “We will be sharing this story with our elected officials and with the FCC Commissioners. The conversations we have had to date with Washington D.C. and with cell phone providers have been promising.” Source:

29. January 28, United Press International – (International) Model of Canadian LG cell phones recalled. A voluntary recall of some 250,000 cell phones was announced on January 27 for Canadian users of LG 150 models because of radiation concerns. The Korean company’s Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, west of Toronto, said in a release “independent bodies responsible for the certification of mobile phones (found) that the LG 150 mobile phone is no longer certified as meeting the Radio Standards Specifications…Radio Frequency Exposure Compliance of Radio communication Apparatus.” In a telephone interview with United Press International, an LG spokesman said the phones were marketed only in Canada and the United States, although the recall applied only to Canada, which has “different specifications” than the United States. He said 3.5 million of the mobile phone models had been manufactured in the past two years. Owners of the phones were advised to return the devices to the point of purchase for a replacement model at no charge. The federal Health Canada agency said “past and current use of the LG 150 should not pose immediate or long-term health concerns,” the company’s statement said. Source: