Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Friday, March 20, 2009

Complete DHS Daily Report for March 20, 2009

Daily Report


 According to the Associated Press, federal safety officials are grounding 2,800 Bell helicopters in a search for improperly installed bearings that could cause the co-pilot controls to malfunction. (See item 11)

11. March 18, Associated Press – (National) FAA grounds 2,800 Bell helicopters for inspection. Federal safety officials are grounding 2,800 Bell helicopters in a search for improperly installed bearings that could cause the co-pilot controls to malfunction. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokeswoman says the agency wants operators of three types of helicopters to visually inspect a bearing in the co-pilot cyclic controls and replace the part if it was improperly installed. The helicopters are Bell models 407 and 427, and the 206 A, B, and L series. A spokesman for the Fort Worth, Texas-based Bell Helicopter said the company discovered the problem last week when trying to deliver a new helicopter. He said he expects FAA to issue a new advisory limiting the grounding to less than 110 newer helicopters. Source:

 The Hartford Courant reports that 22 people were treated for minor eye and respiratory irritation after an ammonia leak on Monday at the Celebration Foods plant in New Britain, Connecticut. (See item 15)

15. March 17, Hartford Courant – (Connecticut) Ammonia leak empties food plant. Twenty-two people were transported to area hospitals after an ammonia leak March 16 at Celebration Foods in New Britain, a fire official said. No one was seriously injured. Shortly after 9 a.m., the fire department received a call that an employee at the Myrtle Street building was having difficulty breathing, he said. Other people then began to feel ill and left the building. Twenty-five people were transported to area hospitals and were treated for minor eye and respiratory irritation. Equipment at the new plant detected the leak and shut it down quickly, he said. “There was never any danger to the neighborhood,” he said. In a statement released Monday afternoon, the company said the leak was detected within two minutes of the start of a production line about 8:30 a.m. The company said ammonia levels were “within standard operating levels” and the plant resumed production about 10:30 a.m. Celebration Foods, a division of FOCUS Brands, Inc., manufactures, distributes, and markets frozen desserts. Source:,0,4706094.story


Banking and Finance Sector

8. March 19, Bloomberg – (National) U.S. considers broadening TALF program to distressed assets. The Presidential Administration may use a new Federal Reserve program designed to spur consumer lending to help remove distressed assets from banks’ balance sheets, according to people familiar with the matter. Officials may meld the Treasury’s plan to set up private investment funds to buy frozen assets with the Fed program, known as the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, the people said. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. may also get a wider role, they said. The Treasury Secretary may use an array of approaches to maximize the likelihood of cleansing banks’ balance sheets so they can start lending again. The next announcement, which may come as soon as this week, will be critical after the Treasury Secretary’s first unveiling of the strategy caused a sell-off in financial stocks. “Letting the TALF take on this role would arguably allow” the toxic-debt effort “to be implemented faster as many of its technical details have been worked out” already, said an economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York. The TALF would provide loans to investors and agree to take illiquid debt as collateral, the people said. It would be used alongside the Treasury’s planned public-private investment funds. Source:

9. March 18, Chippewa Valley Herald – (Wisconsin) Scam targets area bank customers. Area financial institutions are warning customers of a telephone scam seeking account information in the wake of widespread calls in western Wisconsin. RCU reported on March 17 that its members are receiving phone calls asking for their check card number along with their PIN in an apparent scam. “Please be advised this is not coming from RCU and we ask that you not respond to any type of request like this,” said the RCU community relations coordinator. That goes for customers of any other financial institution as well. Community Credit Union, Altra Credit Union, and the Bank of Galesville reported a deluge of calls on March 17 from customers who had received automated calls to their cell phones. Other area banks also reported scam calls. Source:

Information Technology

27. March 17, DarkReading – (International) UN agency: cybersquatting on the rise. The number of cybersquatting reports rose nearly 10 percent last year, according to a United Nations agency charged with protecting intellectual property worldwide. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said on March 16 that a record-breaking 2,329 complaints of cybersquatting were filed with the agency in 2008, an 8 percent increase from 2007. Nearly half of the complaints came from U.S. organizations. Among the industries hit most by cybersquatting were biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, which accounted for 9.9 percent of the complaints to WIPO; banking and finance, 9.4 percent; Internet and IT, 8.8 percent; retail, 8.1 percent; food, beverage, and restaurants, 7.2 percent; entertainment, 6.5 percent; media and publishing, 6.3 percent; fashion, 6.0 percent; and hotels and travel, 6.0 percent. “Cybersquatting remains a serious issue for trademark holders. Supported especially by registrar and registry stakeholders, the sale and broad expansion of new top level domains in the open market, if not properly managed, will provide abundant opportunities for cybersquatters to seize old ground in new domains,” said the WIPO director general in a statement. WIPO’s report jibes with a recently released study by MarkMonitor, which examined abuse of the top 30 brands and found that most of the same ones still get spoofed online. In its Annual Brandjacking Index for 2008, MarkMonitor found 80 percent of sites it first discovered in the first quarter of 2007 abusing brands were still alive and well in 2008. The abuse ranges from using a famous brand name just to drive traffic to the misrepresented site, to infecting visitors, according to MarkMonitor. Source:;jsessionid=RQVREWUVYGWPYQSNDLRSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=215900755

Communications Sector

28. March 18, Mobile Burn – (National) FCC approves first Long Term Evolution network component in U.S. The Federal Communications Commission has approved a filing for an LG Electronics infrastructure device labeled as “Long Term Evolution User Equipment,” making it the first LTE component approved in the United States. The equipment is classified as a Licensed Non-Broadcast Station Transmitter running on the 1700MHz AWS band. Much of the documentation pertaining to the device is currently protected by a confidentiality agreement between LG and the communications agency. Source: