Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Complete DHS Daily Report for July 8, 2009

Daily Report

Top Stories

 Environment News Service reports that a tanker truck carrying about 10,000 gallons of gasoline crashed, overturned, and ruptured on Interstate 95, near Newburyport, Massachusetts. About 8,000 gallons of gasoline spilled into the environment half a mile south of the Merrimack River, and 12 homes were evacuated. (See item 3)

3. July 6, Environment News Service – (Massachusetts) Massachusetts gasoline spill contaminates Merrimack River. Federal and state personnel are responding to a large gasoline spill from an overturned fuel tanker that is leaking gasoline into the Merrimack River in Newburyport, Massachusetts. At 9:17 on July 6, the tanker truck carrying about 10,000 gallons of gasoline crashed, overturned and ruptured on Interstate 95, near the northern Massachusetts town of Newburyport. Other cars were involved in the crash, which closed both sides of the highway. A medical evacuation helicopter was requested for accident victims, including the driver of the tanker. State police have not released the victims’ names or information about their condition. The truck suffered structural damage, resulting in the release of 8,000 to 9,000 gallons of gasoline into the environment half a mile south of the Merrimack River. Gasoline flowed from the scene into the storm drains and into the Merrimack River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Newburyport. There is currently a 500-foot security zone in effect around the scene of the incident. Coast Guard Station Merrimack River responded with a 25-foot response boat crew. The Town of Newburyport has shut down one private drinking water well and a small sewage lift station. The tanker has been up righted and remaining gasoline is being pumped out of the damaged vehicle. EPA has deployed monitoring equipment to check for volatile organics in a nearby neighborhood where 12 homes have been evacuated. The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries will also conduct assessment of any impacts to shellfish resources. Source:

 According to the BBC News, Tunisian police have charged nine men with plotting to kill U.S. servicemen during joint military exercises. A lawyer for the accused said they were charged with attempting to steal weapons and launch terrorist attacks. (See item 24)

24. July 7, BBC News – (International) Nine held in Tunisia terror plot. Tunisian police have charged nine men — including two air force officers — with plotting to kill U.S. servicemen during joint military exercises. A lawyer for the accused said they were charged with attempting to steal weapons and launch terrorist attacks. Tunisia, a staunch U.S. ally, backed the previous U.S. Presidential Administration’s war on terror. It has battled Islamist militancy in recent years and jailed around 1,000 people suspected of planning to help fight U.S.-led forces in Iraq. The nine men arrested will probably face trial next month, their defense lawyer told Reuters news agency. He said two of the suspects are officers from a Tunisian military base in the coastal town of Bizerte, 37 miles north-west of the capital Tunis. Government officials were not available for comment. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

12. July 6, Real Estate Channel – (North Carolina) Beazer Homes agrees to pay $53m to settle mortgage fraud charges. In the most blatant case of mortgage fraud disclosed to date, Atlanta-based Beazer Homes USA Inc. has agreed to pay a total $53 million to settle a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit. The suit could have triggered criminal prosecution against the 41-year-old homebuilder and possibly put it out of business, sources in a position to know tell Real Estate Channel. The Justice Department says Beazer will pay $5 million to the Federal Government and up to $48 million to victimized homeowners. The company closed its mortgage unit in February 2008. The federal fraud investigation has been going on since 2007. The settlement is tied to an agreement with federal prosecutors in North Carolina that will allow the company to avoid criminal prosecution on the mortgage-fraud charges, and on other accounting-fraud charges related to the manipulation of company earnings. The New York Times and the Washington Post report separately that prosecutors said Beazer ignored income requirements in making loans to unqualified buyers, and sought to hide from the Federal Housing Administration that some company branches had excessive default rates on their loans. Prosecutors in North Carolina also said Beazer charged home buyers interest “discount points” at closing but kept the money and did not reduce interest rates on the loans, the newspapers report. Source:

13. July 6, Dallas Morning News – (National) Dallas bank, 6 others forced to close. Seven banks were closed by regulators on July 2, one in Dallas and six in Illinois, bringing the total for 2009 to 52 as the U.S. banking system remains under pressure from rising unemployment and record foreclosures. Dallas-based Millennium State Bank was closed by the Texas Department of Banking, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver. Irving-based State Bank of Texas has agreed to assume the failed bank’s deposits. As of June 30, Millennium had $118 million in assets and $115 million in deposits. According to the FDIC, Millennium will reopen on July 6 as a branch of State Bank of Texas. Depositors of Millennium will automatically become depositors of State Bank of Texas. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC. In Illinois, regulators shut down John Warner Bank in Clinton; First State Bank of Winchester; Rock River Bank in the city of Oregon; Elizabeth State Bank in Elizabeth; First National Bank in Danville; and Founders Bank in Worth. Bank failures on such a scale will deplete some of the money the FDIC has stored to pay depositors. The FDIC estimated that the seven bank failures will cost its deposit-insurance fund roughly $314.3 million. Source:

Information Technology

29. July 6, CNET News – (International) Microsoft warns of hole in Video ActiveX control. Microsoft on July 6 warned of a vulnerability in its Video ActiveX Control that could allow an attacker to take control of a PC if the user visits a malicious Web site. There have been limited attacks exploiting the hole, which affects Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, Microsoft said on its Security Response Center blog. This is the second DirectShow security hole Microsoft has announced in the past few months. The company has yet to provide a security update for a vulnerability announced in May that involves the way DirectX handles QuickTime files. Since there are no by-design uses for the ActiveX Control within Internet Explorer, Microsoft is recommending that users implement a workaround outlined in the security advisory. Customers can automatically implement the workaround by following the instructions under “Fix It For Me” in the Knowledge Base article for advisory number 972890 on the Microsoft support site. Even though Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 are not affected by the vulnerability, Microsoft is recommending that users of those products also use the workaround. Microsoft is working on a security update and will release it when the quality is at the appropriate level for broad distribution, the company said. Source:

Communications Sector

Nothing to report.