Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Complete DHS Daily Report for August 4, 2009

Daily Report

Top Stories

 WSAZ 3 Huntington reports that the entire town of Sandstone, West Virginia and surrounding areas were evacuated after a tractor trailer carrying 32,000 pounds of uranium hexafluoride caught fire after a wreck around midnight Sunday, but tests have confirmed that there is no danger. (See item 5)

5. August 2, WSAZ 3 Huntington – (West Virginia) Drunk driver caused accident involving radioactive cargo, police say. The entire town of Sandstone, West Virginia, and surrounding areas were evacuated after a tractor trailer carrying radioactive material caught fire after a wreck around midnight Sunday, but tests have confirmed that there is no danger. The tractor trailer was carrying a corrosive material that has been determined to be radioactive. Just before 3:30 a.m., hazmat crews reached the scene and determined that the container holding the material was not damaged and none of the material leaked. The crews also tested the air around the wreck and found no contamination. A 911 dispatcher says the evacuation of the town was a precaution at the time, and residents are now allowed to return to their homes. A spokesman with the Hinton Detachment of the West Virginia State Police tells that the chemical inside the truck was uranium hexafluoride. He says it was a large container holding 32,000 pounds of the material. The truck was headed to Portsmouth, Virginia, for export. It was not known from where the truck was coming. Source:

 According to the Long Island Press, a Long Island woman with two guns in her car was arrested after she was found taking pictures of the Air National Guard base in Westhampton Beach, New York on the night of July 30. A police officer spotted her when she returned after she had been warned not to return by guardsmen. (See item 26)

26. August 1, Long Island Press – (New York) Quogue woman charged with photographing air base. A Quogue, Long Island woman with two guns in her car was arrested after she was found taking pictures of the Air National Guard base in Westhampton Beach on the night of July 30, according to the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office. The woman, who had an XM-15 assault rifle and a shot gun along with a cache of ammunition in her car, took photos of the perimeter of the base at Gebreski Airport on a number of prior occasions as well, guardsman reportedly told deputy sheriffs. A Southampton Town Police officer spotted her when she returned after she had been warned not to return by guardsmen, sheriffs said. She was charged with criminal trespass and was arraigned at Southampton Town Justice Court where she pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $50,000 bail at Suffolk jail. The Sheriff’s Office reported the incident to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force as well as the Department of Homeland Security, who are investigating. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

11. August 1, Bloomberg – (National) Five more U.S. banks are shut down, bringing 2009 tally to 69. Banks in New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, Oklahoma and Illinois were shut, pushing the toll of failed U.S. lenders to 69 this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was named the receiver of the five banks, the regulator said on July 31 in e-mailed statements. The seized banks, with total assets of $2.69 billion and deposits of $2.56 billion, will cost the FDIC’s insurance fund about $911.7 million. Mutual Bank of Harvey, Illinois, was the biggest of the July 31 failures, with $1.6 billion in assets and the same amount in deposits. Peoples Community Bank in West Chester, Ohio, was second, with $705.8 million in assets and $598.2 million in deposits. Also shuttered were New Jersey’s First BankAmericano, Integrity Bank in Florida and First State Bank of Altus, Oklahoma. Regulators are closing lenders at the fastest pace in 17 years, depleting the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund by more than $14.4 billion since January. Source:

12. August 1, Associated Press – (Georgia) FDIC orders reform of 3 GA banks. Three Georgia banks must make reforms as ordered by federal regulators. The FDIC served ‘cease and desist’ orders to the Bank of Georgia in Peachtree City, Mountain Heritage Bank of Clayton County and Satilla Community Bank of St. Mary’s. That is the most serious type of enforcement action aside from failure. Regulators say they believed the banks were using “unsafe and unsound” banking practices. They have been told to increase capital, to be more aggressive about writing off bad loans and to improve lending practices and board oversight. Source:

Information Technology

31. August 3, ITPro – (International) Multiple Adobe security holes closed. Adobe has released an out-of-cycle patch for its Flash Player, AIR, Reader and Acrobat software, closing more than 10 vulnerabilities that potentially left users open to attack. It closes a recent vulnerability in Flash that was highlighted by Symantec and actively exploited in the wild. It also fixes 11 other flaws, including three that fixed problems in vulnerable Microsoft code (its Active Template Library (ATL)). All of the fixed vulnerabilities were critical, with most having the potential to allow an attacker to take over a user’s system. Details of how to update the Adobe software can be found in its security bulletin. Adobe is planning its next regular quarterly security update for Adobe Reader and Acrobat on 13 October. Source:

32. August 2, RedOrbit – (International) Hackers reveal security vulnerability in trusted sites. A nefarious new tactic used by hackers works similar to a telephone tap, intercepting information between computers and the trusted Web sites they visit. Hackers at last week’s Black Hat and DefCon security conferences revealed a significant flaw in the way Web browsers filter untrustworthy sites and block users from accessing them. The flaw allows cybercriminals who penetrate a network to establish a secret eavesdropping position, enabling them to capture passwords, credit card numbers and other private data flowing between computers on that network and the Web sites users believe are safe. In an even more worrisome scheme, a hacker could hijack the auto-update feature on a victim’s computer, and trick it into automatically installing malicious code from the attacker’s Web site. In that case, the computer would simply believe the code was a valid update coming from the software manufacturer. Source:

33. August 1, The Register – (International) Surveillance camera hack swaps live feed with spoof video. Corporate teleconferences and other sensitive video feeds traveling over internet are a lot more vulnerable to interception thanks to the release of free software tools that offer penetration testers and attackers a point-and-click interface. At the Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas, the Viper Lab researchers demonstrated new additions to UCSniff, a package of tools for sniffing internet-based phone conversations. The updates offer tools that streamline the process of intercepting video feeds, even when they are embedded in voice-over-internet-protocol traffic. The researchers showed how a companion tool called VideoJak can be used to tamper with video surveillance feeds in museums and other high-security settings. As several hundred conference attendees looked on, they displayed a live feed of a water bottle that was supposed to be a stand in for a precious diamond egg. When someone tried to touch the bottle, the video caught the action in real time. Then they fired up VideoJak. When the bottle was touched again, the video, which presumably would be piped to a security guard, continued to show the bottle was safe and sound. “We used UCSniff to actually capture valid stream for 20 seconds and then we played it against the security guy receiving the traffic,” the director of Sipera’s Viper Labs said in an interview afterward. “So he saw the room was just sitting there unmolested while the person was actually taking the diamond egg.” A separate demo showed a live teleconference that was being secretly intercepted so the video feeds of both participants could be logged in real time. Both attacks convert the intercepted feeds to a raw H.264 video file and from there to a simple AVI file. Source:

34. August 1, New York Times – (National) U.S. weighs risks of civilian harm in cyberwarfare. Fears of collateral damage are at the heart of the debate as the Presidential Administration and its Pentagon leadership struggle to develop rules and tactics for carrying out attacks in cyberspace. While the former Administration seriously studied computer-network attacks, the current Administration is the first to elevate cybersecurity — both defending American computer networks and attacking those of adversaries — to the level of a White House director, whose appointment is expected in coming weeks. But senior White House officials remain so concerned about the risks of unintended harm to civilians and damage to civilian infrastructure in an attack on computer networks that they decline any official comment on the topic. And senior Defense Department officials and military officers directly involved in planning for the Pentagon’s new “cybercommand” acknowledge that the risk of collateral damage is one of their chief concerns. “We are deeply concerned about the second- and third-order effects of certain types of computer network operations, as well as about laws of war that require attacks be proportional to the threat,” said one senior officer. Source:

35. July 31, New York Times – (International) Apple releases a security patch for the iPhone. An Apple fix on July 31 could keep a hacker away from a user’s iPhone. Apple has released a software fix for a serious vulnerability in the iPhone, a day after two prominent computer-security researchers demonstrated at a top industry conference, Black Hat, that they could wreak havoc on the devices with a simple SMS message. The test attack they created takes advantage of a flaw in the way the iPhone handles text messages. During their demonstration, the researchers showed that a hacker could gain complete control over all iPhone functions, including making calls, visiting Web sites, accessing personal information on devices, and turning on its camera and microphone. Crucially, attackers could also use the device to send more malicious messages, potentially causing a “mass-gadget hijacking,” as Forbes put it on July 28. “Someone could pretty quickly take over every iPhone in the world with this,” one of the researchers told Forbes, the first to report the flaws. The researchers said they notified Apple of the problem more than a month before their presentation at Black Hat. The company had yet to release the patch, so they decided to publicize their discovery in an effort to push Apple to act. An outcry that followed the Forbes story and the researchers’ presentation seems to have done just that. “This morning, less than 24 hours after a demonstration of this exploit, we’ve issued a free software update that eliminates the vulnerability from the iPhone,” Apple said in an e-mailed statement. To reassure concerned customers, Apple also tried to correct erroneous reports that malicious attackers had actually struck, stressing that no such episodes had occurred. Source:

Communications Sector

Nothing to report.