Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Complete DHS Daily Report for May 12, 2009

Daily Report

Top Stories

 CNN reports that a category EF-3 tornado destroyed a waste water treatment plant in Madison County, Kentucky on May 8. According to the Associated Press, more than 15,000 customers in eastern Kentucky had no water because lines were broken or washed away. (See item 18)

18. May 10, CNN – (National) Deadly storms rip through Midwest, South. CNN reports that emergency teams on Sunday were assessing damage from deadly storms that devastated parts of Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia over the weekend. The Associated Press reports that governors of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Illinois declared emergencies or disasters in several counties. The National Guard is helping residents in West Virginia’s southern coalfields recover from the weekend flooding that destroyed at least 300 buildings, knocked out power, and caused mudslides that flushed trash, debris, and at least one mobile home downstream. The governor of West Virginia toured the region and activated 300 Guard troops Sunday on top of the 30 he called up a day before. Seven miners trapped underground because of high water were able to walk out of the Mountaineer Alma mine near Wharncliffe, West Virginia on Sunday morning. The governor of West Virginia said officials are trying to get water and sewer systems back up and running soon. In Gilbert, West Virginia, several roads remained impassable May 11, including U.S. 52 between Delbarton and Gilbert. In the Midwest, about 88,000 customers in Illinois and Missouri were still without electricity. The Missouri Department of Transportation reports 10 road closures in Jefferson City due to high water. More than 15,000 customers in eastern Kentucky had no water because lines were broken or washed away and almost 6,000 had no power. CNN reports that the storm that tore through Madison County, Kentucky on May 8 was a category EF-3 tornado, the National Weather Service said Sunday. A waste water treatment plant was destroyed, two fire departments sustained major roof damage, and some manufacturing facilities were damaged, Madison County authorities said. Source: See also: National Guard troops helping flood victims in WVa, West Virginia counties hit by floods begin cleanup, and About 48,800 still without power in Missouri

 United Press International reports that six people remained hospitalized after a 33-foot cabin cruiser exploded on May 9 off crowded Pine Key Island south of Tampa, Florida. (See item 30)

30. May 10, United Press International – (Florida) 6 remain hospitalized in boat blast. Six people remained hospitalized in Tampa, Florida on May 10, one day after a 33-foot cabin cruiser exploded at a popular recreation spot. A man, 56, and his wife, 54, who owned the boat, were hospitalized at Tampa General Hospital, along with four family members, the Tampa Tribune reported. A total of 11 extended family members were onboard the Meyers’ Sea Ray cruiser as it was anchored off crowded Pine Key Island south of Tampa when, witnesses said, it exploded with a tremendous blast and was quickly engulfed in flames. The newspaper said investigators towed the ruined vessel to shore May 10, hoping to find clues to what caused the explosion. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

8. May 9, New Jersey Star-Ledger – (New Jersey) NY man pleads guilty to selling Social Security numbers for scam. A New York man pleaded guilty in federal court on May 8 to mining Social Security numbers for an identity-theft ring targeting home equity lines of credit at New Jersey banks. The 44-year-old of Queens stood before a U.S. District Court Judge in Newark and said he set up a sham collection agency to gain access to a commercial database. He admitted selling 39 Social Security numbers for $30 apiece to a group authorities say siphoned at least $2.5 million from dozens of banks, including at least 11 in the Garden State. If the case had gone to trial prosecutors could have proven that the defendant looked up more than 100,000 Social Security numbers. This individual is among eight defendants charged in New Jersey between August and November 2008 in connection with the alleged ring. Authorities say they targeted homeowners with big credit lines at financial institutions, including Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and credit unions in Basking Ridge, Bridgewater and Toms River. Using stolen personal data, they fooled bank employees into transferring funds to accounts in at least seven countries, authorities said. Part of their alleged scheme was circumventing the banks’ attempts to verify the transfers with telephone calls, authorities said. In some cases, they persuaded phone company employees to reroute their victims’ calls. When the bank called the victim’s home number, one of the suspects’ cell phones rang, authorities said. The remaining seven defendants are awaiting trial. Source:


9. May 9, Associated Press – (Washington) State seizes, shuts down local bank. Government regulators seized Bremerton-based Westsound Bank on May 8 and sold it to another local bank, with state officials citing Westsound’s precarious finances following bad lending decisions in recent years. The state Department of Financial Institutions said it did not expect losses for Westsound depositors. The bank’s corporate office and eight branches were scheduled to reopen on May 11 under the banner of Port Orchard-based Kitsap Bank. State officials said some online banking services may be disrupted over the weekend, but Westsound Bank depositors could continue writing checks, using ATM or debit cards, and paying loans as usual. The state announced the seizure of Westsound Bank on May 8, saying the bank faced “severe asset problems, significant losses and inadequate capital.” The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was named receiver, and immediately sold Westsound to Kitsap Bank. Westsound is the 33rd U.S. bank to fail this year and the second Washington-based bank seized by the government this year, after the Bank of Clark County’s shutdown in January. Source:

10. May 9, Dallas Morning News – (Texas) Aspen Exploration execs indicted on fraud charges. An executive of Aspen Exploration Inc. and his three sons were indicted on charges that they operated an oil and gas investment fraud scheme. U.S. postal inspectors arrested the Aspen chief financial officer at his home on May 8 in Plano. His sons, along with the company executive, are expected to surrender to authorities on May 12. The executives were indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple charges of mail, wire and securities fraud and money laundering. The indictment was unsealed on May 8. The men stand accused of lying to investors while attempting to raise more than $56 million for a drilling program. According to the indictment, instead of drilling wells, they used some of the money on themselves. Investors, often out-of-state people who were dazzled by the idea of owning a well, say they received little, if any, return on their investment. The five executives could face prison and millions of dollars in fines. The indictment accuses the men of inducing investors to buy working interests and net revenue interests in wells to be drilled on the Rancho Blanco lease in Jim Hogg and Zapata counties. Instead, some of the money went for personal use, and some went to other drilling programs, according to the indictment. Texas Railroad Commission data show Aspen had drilled some producing wells in Jim Hogg County. The men also failed to tell investors that the chief financial officer had been convicted of bank fraud, money laundering and securities fraud in Arkansas, and had served seven years in federal prison, the indictment states. Source:

Information Technology

Nothing to report.

Communications Sector

29. May 9, Associated Press – (National) AT&T to buy territories from Verizon for $2.35B. AT&T Inc. said May 8 it will buy the assets of Verizon Wireless in 79 mainly rural areas for $2.35 billion, a deal that will affect more than 1 million subscribers. Verizon Wireless was forced to sell the service areas, which are spread over 18 states, to satisfy regulatory conditions of its purchase of Alltel Corp. The areas are mainly Alltel territories that overlap with Verizon’s own coverage, but also some Verizon territories and areas covered by Rural Cellular, another carrier Verizon bought last year. Dallas-based AT&T, the country’s largest telecommunications company, was the expected winner of the auction for the assets. AT&T is getting spectrum licenses, cell towers and 1.5 million subscribers in the deal. Since AT&T phones are not compatible with Alltel or Verizon phones, these subscribers will need new phones to use AT&T’s network. The states with areas included in the deal are Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. AT&T also said it had agreed to sell five Centennial Communications Corp. service areas in Louisiana and Mississippi to Verizon Wireless for $240 million. Source: