Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Friday, June 26, 2009

Complete DHS Daily Report for June 26, 2009

Daily Report

Top Stories

 The Associated Press reports that poison control centers in California could go dark this summer under the Governor’s plan for closing the State’s $24.3 billion deficit, making California the only State without poison control assistance. Officials say the demise of the California program could have a domino effect throughout the country. (See item 20)

20. June 25, Associated Press – (California; National) Poison control at risk in California, other States. Poison control centers that have been a lifeline for millions of residents could go dark this summer under the California Governor’s plan for closing the State’s $24.3 billion deficit. That would make the nation’s most populous State the only one without poison control assistance. The demise of the California program could have a domino effect throughout the country, officials say. Washington and Michigan centers already have been forced to downsize, and officials in Tennessee and Oregon also have proposed significant cutbacks. But in California, the entire program sits on the chopping block, with some lawmakers hoping to reach a compromise to keep some of the money available. Many States strapped for cash would like to see how California, which handles 10 percent of the nation’s poison calls, fares without a State-funded system, said the executive director of the American Association of Poison Control Centers. With cuts, the growing alternatives would be hospitals and emergency rooms. In California, the deficit situation is so dire that the Governor’s office says they have to make tough choices, even if it means targeting important programs like poison control. Poison control programs also provide data for health research. The poison control database allows officials and researchers to better understand trends and the magnitude of an event, said a Center for Disease Control epidemiologist in Atlanta. Closing California’s call centers — in Sacramento, San Francisco, Fresno and San Diego — would save about $5.9 million annually, but program officials say the State could end up paying much more than that in emergency room and other doctor visits. In the worst cases, they say, not having access to a poison control hot line could lead to deaths. Source:

 According to the Detroit Free Press, six children are recovering after a chlorine accident at a high school pool in Clarkston, Michigan led to the evacuation of about 1,500 people on Wednesday. (See item 22)

22. June 25, Detroit Free Press – (Michigan) 6 kids recovering after Clarkston chlorine accident. Six children are recovering Thursday after a chlorine accident at the Clarkston High School pool in Clarkston, Michigan led to the evacuation of about 1,500 people Wednesday. The school district spokeswoman said Thursday morning that all six children, who were part of the Sea Wolves swim club, have been released from the hospital. All were treated for respiratory issues, she said. The pool is scheduled to reopen July 6, she said, in order for the district to do some training of staff and view the report on the incident from firefighters. The pool was also scheduled to be closed next week — except for Sea Wolves practice. Investigators say they believe electrical blackouts may have caused the automatic chemical treatment system for the pool to malfunction at 6:42 p.m., dumping an excessive amount of chlorine and muriatic acid into the pool, the Independence Township fire chief said Thursday. The fire chief said rescuers evacuated 1,500 people attending a dance recital in an auditorium near the pool as a precaution. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

11. June 23, Orange County Register – (California) Man threatens to blow up bank, then tosses in his backpack. A man clutching a backpack threatened to blow up a bank, then tossed the bag inside a Bank of America, authorities said. Bank employees and customers evacuated the building, but a subsequent search of the bag revealed there were not any explosive materials inside, said a Newport Beach police sergeant. The incident, however, caused authorities to clear the area for two hours while the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s bomb squad inspected the bag, the sergeant said. Police were called to the bank, near the intersection of Westcliff Drive and Irvine Avenue, at 12:09 p.m. on June 22. Witnesses reported that the suspect walked into the bank holding the backpack. The suspect tossed the bag and walked out of the bank, but a bank employee followed him out, the sergeant said. At 12:13 p.m., officers stopped the suspect and took him into custody. Inside the bag, authorities found several personal items, but none that posed danger to the public, the sergeant said. Source:

Information Technology

26. June 25, PC World – (International) Hacked high-profile Twitter accounts still spreading malicious links. Phishing scams involving hijacked accounts continue to sweep through the popular microblogging site Twitter. In January, hackers commandeered the accounts of several high-profile members and distributed malicious links and spam messages. On June 23, scammers used the profile of a former Apple Fellow, with over 100,000 followers, to post a link to a site that claimed to offer a non-existent sex tape. According to PC World, a University of Alabama at Birmingham computer forensic scientist believes that over 1,600 people have already followed the link to a fake porn site that links to a Trojan horse program. This software affects both Macs and PCs, and, if downloaded, essentially turns a users computer into a zombie that can be controlled from afar, enabling a hacker to extract valuable personal information. The scheme also leeched off the compromised accounts of a political blogger, a rising musician, and a gay news site, some of which still have the malicious link available on their Twitter pages. Source:

27. June 24, – (International) Google clamps down on ‘malvertising.’ Google has made several enhancements to its anti-malvertising site to help its ad network customers prevent attempts to distribute malware through advertising. The web giant launched an initial custom search engine at the beginning of the year, which is designed to allow ad networks to perform quick background checks on prospective advertisers to minimize the risk of malware. “It checks a variety of independent, third party sites that track possible attempts to distribute malware through advertising,” said a statement on the site. “Its search results should not be considered the last word on a prospective customer but one potential source of helpful information. If a party you’re researching comes up in a search result here, we recommend you take a closer look at the party in question before rendering judgment.” Now the site has been enhanced with additional educational materials relevant to “all web publishers, ad operations teams and Internet users”, according to Google. Among the recommendations for publishers is that they always perform comprehensive QA on creatives and that they avoid ad networks without strong anti-malware measures in place. Also on the site are incident response tactics for small to medium sized publishers, including sample scripts for customer service and notifying ad networks and other third parties in the event of malware being discovered. Source:

28. June 23, Red Condor – (International) Red Condor’s Spam Trip Wire detects new virus. Red Condor’s Spam Trip Wire feature instantly detected and blocked a new email virus campaign designed to scare email users with bogus legal action for activities including illegal music downloads. The virus campaign detected on June 22 calls attention to users’ supposed recent activity at sites commonly used to share and download copyrighted movies, music and software. The email content threatens recipients with legal action and includes a link to a “log report” that is actually a virus executable. Red Condor created a filtering rule and distributed the added security to its security appliance and hosted service customers around the world. Source:

Communications Sector

29. June 24, Dothan Eagle – (Alabama) Phone service restored in Houston County after earlier disruption of service. Phone service has been restored in Houston County following an interruption of service that lasted several hours on June 24. Due to a damaged transmission line, the Dothan/Houston County area had been experiencing significant telephone disruptions. The disruption affected all phone lines in the Houston County Court System, Administrative Building and Sheriff’s Offices. Residents throughout the county also experienced difficulty in reaching 911 services from land line telephones. Source:

30. June 23, IDG News Service – (International) Satellite launch will lead to wider AT&T coverage. AT&T Mobility should achieve true nationwide coverage by the end of this year after it introduces a planned service that utilizes both satellite and cellular service. The carrier will resell satellite service and phones from TerreStar Networks, a startup that is set to have its first satellite launched on July 1. TerreStar is developing hybrid satellite/cellular handsets designed to be about the same size as a conventional smartphone. TerreStar’s satellite will sit 22,000 miles above North America and provide service across the United States and Canada, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Using licensed 2GHz radio spectrum, it will provide voice service as well as data at approximately 64K bits per second, said the TerreStar chief technology officer. AT&T will resell that service in a hybrid offering, aimed initially at local, state and federal governments, he said. The carrier will also resell the handsets, though not initially in its retail stores. The handsets will switch between satellite and 3G coverage as users roam in and out of cellular coverage areas. TerreStar is still working on a resale deal with a Canadian carrier. Source: