Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

Friday, September 11, 2009

Complete DHS Daily Report for September 11, 2009

Daily Report

Top Stories

 According to New York Injury News, an explosion at U.S. Steel Clairton Coke Works in Pennsylvania killed one worker and injured another on Thursday. (See item 12)

12. September 9, New York Injury News – (Pennsylvania) Explosion at U.S. Steel Clairton Coke Works in Pennsylvania leaves 1 worker dead. A U.S. Steel Clairton Coke Works worker was killed and another injured due to an explosion at a factory on September 10. The flames from the explosion were visible on the roof of the building at the plant near State Street in the town of Clairton, Pennsylvania. Two workers reported to have heard the blast coming from the main control area, where the residual products of the process to create coke are managed. Employees were aware that something was wrong. The Company’s fire rescue team reported to the flaming building and managed to put out the fire. Firefighters rescued two injured workers at the scene. One of the workers was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead. A second man, who was injured in the blast, required medical attention, and was taken to the nearby hospital to be treated. U.S. Steel Clairton Coke Works released a statement addressing the accident by expressing their regrets announcing that they are going to work with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to produce a thorough investigation about the fatal explosion. The Steel Clairton Works Company produces the greatest amount of coke in the U.S and maintains 1,500 employees. OSHA has cited and fined the company for three other work-related offenses since 2004. Source:

 The New Jersey Star Ledger reports that extra campus security officers were on duty Wednesday at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey after a 300-person disturbance Tuesday night that ended with six students being arrested. Officers from eight jurisdictions spent more than an hour trying to disperse the group. (See item 26)

26. September 10, New Jersey Star Ledger – (New Jersey) Extra officers patrol campus after Ramapo brawl, arrests. Extra campus security officers were on duty yesterday at Ramapo College after a 300-person disturbance Tuesday night that ended with six students being arrested. Officers from eight jurisdictions spent more than an hour trying to disperse the group — many of whom appeared drunk, Mahwah police said. No one was injured, and no property was damaged. Police arrived on campus about 12:30 a.m. and found large groups of individuals fighting in a beer-can and trash-strewn area outside the Village Dorms, which typically house upperclassmen. “There was shoving, pushing, threatening of physical harm. There were some punches thrown. A lot of little clusters of things,” a Mahwah police captain said. Mahwah police requested assistance from the Bergen County, Ramsey, Upper Saddle River, Allendale, Waldwick, Saddle River, Franklin Lakes and Suffern, N.Y., police departments. More than two dozen police officers, along with Ramapo College Security, worked to disperse the crowd and in the process arrested four people for disorderly conduct, riot and failure to disperse. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

15. September 9, Bloomberg – (National) FDIC proposes six-month extension for debt guarantees. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. proposed a six-month, emergency-only extension to its debt guarantee program as regulators move to wean companies from federal aid approved at the height of last year’s credit crisis. The five-member FDIC board today unanimously approved seeking comment for 15 days on extending the program. The FDIC now guarantees eligible debt issued before the scheduled October 31 expiration by banks that get agency approval and pay a fee. “It has been a successful program but we would like to end it,” the FDIC Chairman said at a Washington meeting. Credit markets are recovering and she doesn’t expect banks to need further access to the program, meaning the agency should now seek input whether to go “cold turkey” or offer an emergency mechanism for a final six months, she said. Bankers have pressed the FDIC to spell out how it will end the program, which the Federal Reserve chairman has said was instrumental in keeping markets stable during the worst of the 2008 financial crisis. The program is part of the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program; a portion for business checking accounts was extended in August for six months. “The point here is to allow for an orderly transition out of a government-backed system,” said a senior economist at the American Bankers Association in Washington, in a telephone interview on September 8. The ABA had asked the FDIC to “worry about the cutoff points and the suddenness” of ending the guarantees, to make sure closing down the program doesn’t roil markets, he said. Source:

Information Technology

34. September 10, Associated Press – (National) Army crafting blueprint for fighting in cyberspace. The Army is developing its blueprint for battling attackers in cyberspace, the latest writing of a major military playbook aimed at staying ahead of increasingly sophisticated enemies. Similar to its recently finished manual on the use of electronic warfare, the Army is crafting new concepts for a high-tech battlefield. The 86-page document, an early draft of which was obtained by The Associated Press, tries to account for everything from monitoring the passing of information between enemies to stopping computer hacks from taking on entire networks of machines. “It’s just our drive to get better networked and better tied in, not with just the military but civilian societies at every level,” said the deputy director of Fort Leavenworth’s Capability Development Integration Directorate. The doctrine will be the Army’s principles for battlefield commanders to use computers and information technology to identify enemies, inform soldiers and notify other countries what the U.S. military is doing and why. The early draft is light on specifics but heavy on high concepts. The final version is to be released in October. “We want commanders to think about what they do to gain the advantage on air, land or space,” the deputy director said. “Now they have to think about cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum.” The chief cyber officer for the Army’s information office said the U.S. has to be ready to fight its enemies online that can range from high school kids hacking into government systems from their basements to well-trained personnel overseas. “It would give a tactical advantage over the adversary,” the chief officer said of the Army’s playbook. “It’s a terrorism weapon almost.” Source:

35. September 9, The Register – (International) Critical bug infests newer versions of Microsoft Windows. Microsoft has promised to patch a serious flaw in newer versions of its Windows operating system after hackers released exploit code that allows them to take complete control of the underlying machines. The flaw, which affects various versions of Windows Vista, 2008, and the release candidate version of Windows 7, resides in a network file sharing technology known as SMB2, or simple message block version 2. The bug, which fails to adequately parse network negotiation requests, was previously believed only to generate a debilitating blue screen of death, but on Tuesday, Microsoft confirmed in some cases it could also be used to remotely execute malicious code on vulnerable machines. The revelation shows that Microsoft’s recent efforts to harden its software against attack only go so far. Despite building Windows Vista and 2008 from scratch and subjecting them to rigorous code reviews, the critical bug managed to escape notice. Even worse, security reviewers in Redmond managed to purge the bug from the final version of Windows 7, but allowed other Windows versions to remain vulnerable. “This is a common practice at Microsoft of discovering critical software vulnerabilities in the latest releases and never back porting them to older (still supported) versions [and] therefore leaving customers hung out to dry,” said the director of professional services at The DigiTrust Group. “Also it is interesting that the vulnerability affects SMB2 as that was new to Vista and we can therefore assume had been through most of their strict code auditing standards yet we see again things are going to be missed, even extremely critical ones,” he added. Most attempts to exploit the bug will result in a simple crash of the machine, according to an advisory Microsoft published on Tuesday. What’s more, the invulnerability of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 suggests Microsoft’s security team is at least partially on top of the bug. Source:

Communications Sector

36. September 10, Aero-News Network – (Oklahoma) Aircraft hit a radio tower guide wire in instrument conditions. The NTSB has released its preliminary findings in the crash in Tulsa, Oklahoma last week of a Piper PA-32 in which the pilot and four passengers were killed. The airplane hit a radio tower guide wire. Impact with the ground was followed by a post-crash fire. On September 5, 2009 at 1042 Central Daylight Time, a Piper PA-32R-300, N1228H, struck a radio tower guide wire and subsequently struck the ground 8 miles northwest of the Richard Lloyd Jones, Jr./Riverside Airport (KRVS), Tulsa, Oklahoma. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was on file for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 flight from KRVS to Dallas Love Field (KDAL), Dallas, Texas. The 5 persons on board were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed from impact forces and a subsequent post-crash fire. The personal flight originated approximately 1035. The accident site began at a 600-foot tall radio tower that was located near the center of the park. A 7-strand steel guy-wire supporting the tower on its west side and located approximately 150 feet up from the tower’s base, was severed approximately 50 feet out from where the wire attached to the tower. A 300-foot section of the wire was located with the airplane main wreckage approximately 1,575 feet west of the tower. Source:

37. September 9, State of New York – (New York) Governor Paterson announces filing of broadband grant requests. The governor of New York on September 9 announced that 22 New York State government agencies and non-government organizations have applied for approximately $775 million in federal stimulus grants to make broadband service universally available in unserved and underserved communities across the State. The projects will provide greater internet access to people throughout the State, increase digital literacy programs and spur economic development. “In building the New Economy, we cannot afford to leave any part of New York State without modern, high-speed connection to the internet. The internet is essential not only for jobs and business opportunities, but also for public safety, education and access to health and other services,” said the Governor. “In these challenging fiscal times, we must take every opportunity to maximize federal stimulus funding opportunities to help make necessary investments to strengthen our communities and grow our economy, especially providing affordable access to high-speed Internet service throughout New York.” The applications were submitted for broadband funding available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The projects demonstrate innovative approaches to bridge the digital divide and enhance New York’s broadband capacity in communities across the State. The projects will benefit economic and community development efforts, improve public safety communications, expand online government services, provide new educational opportunities and leverage the State’s university research and development capacity. Source:

38. September 9, Business Insider – (National) BlackBerry down in some places. RIM’s BlackBerry network is down in some areas of the country, according to numerous reports on Twitter. The outage may be limited to BlackBerry’s Internet service, not enterprise customers. Source:

39. September 9, Metro News Calgary – (International) Trouble continues to plague City of Calgary’s communications network. More trouble has surfaced in the City of Calgary’s communications network, two days after its 911 emergency call system briefly crashed. The 311 call centre that puts Calgarians in touch with almost every civic department went down in the morning for about 45 minutes, although enquiries were redirected to a backup system. But minutes later, Calgary Transit encountered trouble with its own system, including the main customer information line which rang busy when calls came in. Technicians are trying to find the source of the problem. Early on September 7, callers were not able to get through to the city’s 911 emergency network for about half an hour until a backup system was activated. The city and its phone supplier, Telus, are investigating but they have ruled out intentional damage to the system. Source: