Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Complete DHS Daily Report for May 19, 2009

Daily Report

Top Stories

 The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that an explosion set off a fire at the Sunoco oil refinery in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania late Sunday night. A company spokesman said Sunoco planned to beef up production at its other two refineries in the region. (See item 1)

1. May 18, Philadelphia Inquirer – (Pennsylvania) Refinery fire contained, but still burning. The fire set off by the window-rattling explosion that rocked the Sunoco refinery in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania late Sunday night was still burning Monday morning. However, no evacuations have been ordered, and no dangerous air emissions have been detected, officials say. “While the fire is contained and under control, it is still burning,” said a Sunoco spokesman. It is not yet clear how the fire will affect operations, he said, adding that Sunoco planned to beef up production at its other two refineries in the region. The ethylene unit at Marcus Hook, the site of the blaze, is closed, and workers showing up were handed flyers telling them to avoid the area. However, the rest of the facility was open. “People are still reporting to work here at the refinery,” the spokesman said. Around the refinery, life appeared normal Monday morning, with schools open and commuters headed to work. Residents reported hearing one or two explosions that shook car and house windows about 10:15 p.m. While the refinery is near the state line, the flames were picked up by a web camera more than 10 miles away at Philadelphia International Airport. By 1:30 a.m., the fire was contained. The explosion came three days after Pennsylvania fined the Marcus Hook refinery $762,150 in civil penalties for air-quality permit violations. Source: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20090518_Refinery_fire_contained_but_still_burning.html

 According to the Salinas Californian, a device resembling a pipe bomb was found in a juvenile’s backpack during the evening of May 15 at Cypress Plaza in Cypress, California. Businesses in the commercial building were evacuated and the area sealed off for investigation. (See item 35)

35. May 16, Salinas Californian – (California) Monterey police bust taggers; find explosive device. A device resembling a pipe bomb was found in a juvenile’s backpack during the evening of May 15 at Cypress Plaza in Cypress, Monterey police said. Businesses in the commercial building were evacuated and the area sealed off for investigation. Police were responding to a report of six juveniles writing graffiti on the back of the building. The juvenile in possession of the device said he manufactured it himself, according to police. He provided detailed information about the device and its contents. It was removed from the backpack and placed in a 55-gallon drum for transport and later destruction. Cypress Plaza, at North Fremont and Casa Nova, was allowed to reopen about 7:30 p.m. Three of the six were arrested on various criminal violations, police said. One was released on citation and the other two were booked. Source: http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20090516/NEWS01/905160305/1002/rss


Banking and Finance Sector

15. May 16, Salisbury Post – (North Carolina) Bank warns of scam targeting ATM card numbers. Bank customers in Rowan and Cabarrus counties are being warned not to ever give out their debit/ATM card numbers after a telephone scam in the area on May 15. The senior executive vice president and general counsel for F&M Bank said, “There’s never a point where we’re going to ask you to give us financial information because we already have it.” F&M was one of at least three local banks that reported customers receiving calls alerting them that their debit/ATM cards had been frozen and asking them to key in their card numbers so they could be released. The callers identified themselves as representatives of the customers’ respective banks, according to a security officer for F&M Bank. The security officer said, “I think they’re just targeting this area. They’re using an electronic voice I guess to make it sound as if they are legitimate, and folks are responding to it.” The president of F&M said the callers are using caller ID spoofing so people receiving the calls are not able to trace the numbers. The numbers that have been showing up are legitimate businesses, she said, some of them in Idaho and Florida. Source: http://www.salisburypost.com/Area/051609-Bank-customers-being-scammed

16. May 15, Associated Press – (Nevada) Feds accuse Nevada company owner of $13.5M fraud. Federal authorities are accusing a Las Vegas businessman and his companies of fraud and misrepresentation in a scheme that regulators say cost more than 100 investors some $13.5 million. Records show a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles froze the assets of the individual suspect, Axcess Automation LLC and Axcess Fund Management LLC. A federal civil complaint filed on May 14 in Los Angeles by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission accuses the suspect of operating a Ponzi scheme since February 2006, using money from newcomers to pay apparent profits of about 20 percent to previous investors. The complaint alleges six violations of the federal Commodity Exchange Act. It seeks to ban the suspect and his companies from doing business. Source: http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_12379081

17. May 15, Reuters – (National) FDIC’s Bair: Bank CEOs will be replaced-report. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp chairman said some U.S. bank chief executives will be replaced in the next couple of months as regulators assess lenders’ financial strength, Bloomberg News said on May 15, citing a television interview to be broadcast this weekend. In the last year, the federal government has ousted chief executives of American International Group Inc, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac after taking big ownership stakes. In March, it pushed out General Motors Corp Chief Executive after concluding the automaker’s recovery plan did not go far enough. Recently, regulators told 10 of the largest U.S. banks to raise a combined $74.6 billion of capital to help withstand a potentially deep recession. Some of those banks may convert some of the government’s preferred stock investments into common stock, giving taxpayers direct ownership stakes. Source: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2009/05/15/afx6429274.html

Information Technology

31. May 15, Telegraph.co.uk – (International) New computer virus on rise, warn security experts. Anti-virus experts at Sophos have warned that the malicious software, or “malware,” is spreading rapidly online, around six times faster than its nearest rival. In the last week alone, almost half of all malware found on websites was identified as the JSRedir-R Trojan, with a new webpage infected every 4.5 seconds. JSRedir-R embeds itself within legitimate but poorly secured websites, and loads malicious programs from third-party sites on to a user’s computer without their knowledge. This gives hackers and cybercriminals a “back door” into the machine and presents them with the opportunity to steal passwords, identity details and financial information. “No one should be in any doubt that the web is still the main vector of attack for cybercriminals, and this new threat suggests this situation isn’t going to change anytime soon,” said a senior technology consultant at Sophos. “The problem is that too many computer users still think there’s no danger in surfing the web, but with legitimate sites often falling victim to these attacks, it’s time to wake up. Security experts have warned web users to ensure their antivirus software is up to date in order to protect themselves against the malware threat. Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/technologynews/5330044/New-computer-virus-on-rise-warn-security-experts.html

Communications Sector

32. May 18, AT&T – (West Virginia) AT&T rolls in Cell Site on Wheels to enhance wireless communications in West Virginia flood area. AT&T has deployed a cell site on wheels (COW) equipped with satellite capabilities in Gilbert to temporarily extend wireless coverage in the region to support the increase in wireless voice and data traffic as hundreds of West Virginians cope with the worst flooding in eight years. Using local and national resources, AT&T is deploying their equipment to help with the telecommunications needs of residents, emergency crews and West Virginia National Guard deployed in the area. Two additional portable cells are en route to Williamson and Varney to extend local wireless coverage early next week. “We want to ensure that the emergency crews assisting the flood relief stay connected to take care of critical needs,” said the Vice President and General Manager for AT&T in West Virginia and Virginia. Source: http://pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=212205&Itemid=28

33. May 18, Cellular-News – (National) Motorola develops self-organizing LTE network. Motorola has announced the launch of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) self-organizing network (SON), which automates previously manual steps involved in planning, deploying, optimizing, and operating the network. Motorola says that the algorithms and features of the LTE SON solution will help the operator dynamically optimize its network for best performance and make it simpler and easier to manage. Source: http://www.cellular-news.com/story/37524.php?source=rss