Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Monday, August 10, 2009

Complete DHS Daily Report for August 10, 2009

Daily Report

Top Stories

 According to BBC News, U.S. firm Molex has shut a car parts factory in southern France on grounds of “security” after angry workers allegedly assaulted a manager. Workers at the Villemur-sur-Tarn plant are protesting over plans to relocate production to the United States in October. (See item 8)

8. August 6, BBC News – (International) Clash shuts U.S. factory in France. U.S. firm Molex has shut a car parts factory in southern France on grounds of “security” after angry workers allegedly assaulted a manager. A union official told the BBC that “a few eggs were thrown.” “He did not receive any blows,” a spokeswoman of the CGT union said. Workers at the Villemur-sur-Tarn plant are protesting over plans to relocate production to the United States in October. “They are preventing anyone getting onto the site,” the spokeswoman said on August 6. About 160 demonstrators have gathered at the plant, where the dispute has paralyzed production of electronic components since July 7. Molex is in talks with union representatives about the relocation plan, which could see 283 workers lose their jobs. The unions argue that the plant is economically viable and that the current offer of compensation for layoffs is unacceptable. There have been several incidents of workers threatening violence against employers elsewhere in France this year, amid a spate of factory closures and redundancies. Source:

 KCTV 5 Kansas City reports that the University of Kansas has increased security after a former employee was found with a rifle in his truck on campus on August 5. The suspect was fired from his job as a research assistant at the university’s geological survey in July. (See item 27)

27. August 7, KCTV 5 Kansas City – (Kansas) Ex-KU employee arrested with rifle on campus. The University of Kansas (KU) has increased security after a former employee was found with a rifle on campus on Wednesday. The suspect was fired from his job as a research assistant at the university’s geological survey in July, but showed up to campus on Wednesday with a rifle in his truck. KU police found that the rifle was unusable and sent the suspect off campus, but he was later arrested by Douglas County Sheriff’s officers for criminal possession of a firearm, due to a state law that says someone committed to a mental health facility involuntarily can not possess a gun. The suspect was also charged with stalking, telephone harassment, and violation of a protection order. He was also charged with criminal damage of property after roughing up the police cruiser he was put in. The stalking and telephone harassment charges come from the days after he was terminated from his job on July 8. The suspect is currently being held on $250,000 bond. The suspect was an employee of the university for more than 17 years. Douglas County District Attorney officials said that the suspect’s behavior has escalated over the past month. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

14. August 6, Houston Chronicle – (National) FDIC sues to get information on Franklin Bank probe. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has asked a federal judge to force a law firm and an accounting firm to hand over information on an investigation into the failure of Franklin Bank, S.S.B. The FDIC was appointed receiver for Franklin Bank, which was seized and closed in November 2008. In a lawsuit filed August 4, the FDIC says an internal bank audit committee has initiated an investigation of allegations of accounting irregularities, fraud and misconduct at Franklin Bank. The law firm hired Ernst&Young accountants to assist. The lawsuit says the investigation included interviews with 23 bank executives and employees and reviews of computer hard drives and 250,000 e-mails. But the two firms told the FDIC that their materials are covered by attorney-client privilege. The FDIC asked a Senior U.S. District Judge to force the firms to turn over the materials, arguing they are not privileged — partly because they were shared in presentations and partly because the FDIC stands legally in the place of Franklin Bank, which was itself the firms’ client. Spokesmen for the law and accounting firms said they would not comment on the pending litigation. Franklin bank’s former parent company Franklin Bank Corp. is in bankruptcy. Some branches were reopened as Prosperity Bank after that institution assumed Franklin’s deposits and purchased some of its assets. Source:

15. August 6, BloggingStocks.Com – (National) SEC plans for increased subpoena power. The Securities and Exchange Commission has a new point man to head up the compliance division of the agency. He is a former federal prosecutor. He wants to use subpoena powers to gain cooperation with the SEC in fraud and all kinds of trading schemes and violations. The subpoena power would be given to staff investigators. This is a marked change from the previous policy, which required the Commission to grant subpoenas. Other changes would include plans to submit more immunity requests to the Justice Department. The SEC plans to investigate cases involving asset management, foreign corrupt practices, market abuses, municipal securities, public pensions and structured products. Source:

Information Technology

33. August 7, The Register – (International) Microsoft whips out Office 2008 patch for Mac lovers. Microsoft has hastily applied a fix to the Mac version of Office 2008, after the software giant introduced a glitch in the Open XML format when it released Service Pack 2 for the suite. The company noted Thursday that the 12.2.1 patch would get rid of error messages that some Mac users were faced with when trying to open various PC-created documents in Office 2008. Customers had reported the following error message: “Microsoft Excel cannot open the file. You may have to download the latest updates for Office for Mac. Do you want to visit the Microsoft Web site for more information?” It had popped up when users tried to open some (though not all) OXML file formats in the Office suite after applying Service Pack 2 to the software. Microsoft released Office 2008 Service Pack 2 in July. At the time, Redmond wheeled out its usual not-to-be-entirely-trusted promise about improving “stability, reliability, and performance.” Source:

34. August 6, Associated Press – (National) Hackers attack Twitter, Facebook also slows down. Hackers on August 6 shut down the fast-growing messaging service Twitter for hours, while Facebook experienced intermittent access problems. Twitter said it suffered a denial-of-service attack, in which hackers command scores of computers toward a single site at the same time, preventing legitimate traffic from getting through. The attacks may have been related to the ongoing political conflict between Russia and Georgia. They started with hackers using a botnet to send a flurry of spam e-mail messages that contained links to pages on Twitter, Facebook and other sites written by a single pro-Abkhazia activist, according to a research director of the San Francisco-based Packet Clearing House, a nonprofit that tracks Internet traffic. When people clicked on the links, they were taken to the activist’s legitimate Web pages, but the process of loading the pages at such volumes overwhelmed some servers and disrupted service, he said. He said it is hard to immediately tell whether it was a case of hackers trying to punish the sites for publishing views they disagree with, or if they were directing traffic to the sites out of sympathy for the activist’s message. The fact that a relatively common attack could disable such a well-known Web site shows just how young and vulnerable Twitter still is, even as it quickly becomes a household name used by celebrities, large corporations, small businesses and even protesters in Iran. Source:

Communications Sector

35. August 7, New York Daily News – (New York) Major water main break in Tribeca snarls Manhattan rush hour traffic. Thousands of morning commuters who make their way through the Tribeca area in New York City, New York were delayed or diverted because of a massive water main break that happened early Friday morning. At least 15 buildings were flooded and subways disrupted when a 12-inch water main broke under a Tribeca street early Friday. Residents of five buildings on West Broadway were evacuated due to rupture. Water poured into the subway, causing causing delays on the No. 1, 2 and 3 lines. Emergency workers rushed to shut down the main which dates back to the 1800s, and a number of streets were shut down, creating havoc for morning commuters. The M20 bus line was diverted at Worth St. to Broadway. Some city buses were being used as waiting areas for some of the people who were evacuated. One building, a telecommunications facility had four feet of water in the basement, fire officials said. The cause of the break was not immediately known. Source: