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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Complete DHS Daily Report for October 12, 2010

Daily Report

Top Stories

•Associated Press reports that officials are reminding southern Minnesota farmers and farm businesses that grain that came into contact with contaminated floodwater is considered adulterated and not fit for human or animal consumption. (See item 24)

24. October 8, Associated Press – (Minnesota) MN farmers affected by floods urged to check grain. Officials are reminding southern Minnesota farmers and farm businesses to carefully assess the condition of their grain. The state agriculture department said grain may be considered adulterated if any part of the plant used for feed or food — such as corn ears or soybean pods — came into contact with contaminated floodwater. That grain should not be used for human or animal consumption. The agriculture commissioner said the risk of contamination is generally considered highest for crops that were submerged in water that overflowed from rivers or streams. Standing grain that has been in contact with contaminated floodwater from a river or stream should not be blended with uncontaminated grain. Source:

•According to Associated Press, a company that provides electronic monitoring to track sex offenders, parolees and others said its system shut down after unexpectedly hitting its data storage limit, leaving authorities across 49 states unaware of offenders’ movement for 12 hours. (See item 42)

42. October 7, Associated Press – (National) Data overload block tracking of sex offenders. A company that provides electronic monitoring to track sex offenders, parolees and others said its system shut down after unexpectedly hitting its data storage limit, leaving authorities across 49 states unaware of offenders’ movement for 12 hours. Prisons and other corrections agencies were blocked from getting notifications on about 16,000 people being tracked,a BI Incorporated spokesman said. The system operated by the Boulder, Colorado-based company reached its data threshold — more than 2 billion records — October 5. Tracking devices continued to record movement October 5, but corrections agencies could not immediately view the data. The company has substantially increased its data storage capacity and has not heard of any safety issues, the spokesman said. People being monitored were unaware of any problems. BI contracts with about 900 government agencies across the country for monitoring and notification services, including real-time monitoring and delayed notifications about offender whereabouts. The agencies vary widely, and include state prison systems, sheriff’s departments, and pre-trial service entities, the spokesman said. Before the shutdown, the company’s database could hold 2.1 billion records, such as a GPS address or an alcohol reading, the spokesman said. The company spent October 5 expanding the threshold to more than 1 trillion records. The spokesman said staff will work to develop a system that can supply early warnings as the database fills. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

14. October 7, Richmond Times-Dispatch – (Virginia) Traffic is disrupted but no injuries result from downtown electrical fire. An underground electrical fire at 12and Main streets in Richmond, Virginia October 6 spewed heavy smoke, shut down power to nearby buildings, including a Federal Reserve bank branch, led to evacuations, and snarled traffic but caused no injuries. A Richmond Fire Department spokesman said firefighters returning from another call spotted the smoke around 3:p.m. The fire was underneath metal sidewalk grates covering an electrical vault at the southwest corner of the intersection along 12th Street. The vault is next to the 25-stoBank of America building at 1111 E. Main that was evacuated, the spokesman said. The spokesman said firefighters had to wait for Dominion Virginia Power to cut electrical power to the area before they could start extinguishing the blaze with foam and water. At one point, flames were shooting 6 to 10 feet above the grating, he said. He said the power company initially cut power to a large area downtown. But service was soon restored to many buildings when it became apparent it was safe to do so. The Bank of America Building was evacuated. A Dominion spokesman said the company was first aware of an outage at 3:08 p.m., and power was cut to buildings, including Federal Reserve Bank, Dominion’s headquarters at 1 James Plaza, the James Center and Richmond Plaza. He said power was restored to all customers except the Bank of America by 6:30 p.m. Source:

15. October 6, Chicago Breaking News Center – (Illinois) Chicago FBI seeks ‘Swine Flu Bandit’. The Chicago FBI is searching for a man they have nicknamed the “Swine Bandit” who they say was involved in at least five Chicago-area bank robberies since September. During two of the five robberies, the man allegedly told bank employees he was recovering from “swine flu” when he entered the buildings wearing a mask, the FBI said. “He’s walked into the banks wearing either a surgical mask or a painter’s mask, and I think on one occasion he had medical gauze wrapped around his face,” a Chicago FBI spokeswoman. The most recent robberies took place September 18, one in Bridgeport at a Federal Savings Bank at 2869 S. Archer Ave. and another in the West Loop at a Chase Bank located at 1130 S. Canal St. Witnesses at both locations he said the man entered the branches, approached the counter with a gun and demanded the money. In both robberies he fled on foot, according to the FBI. The man is also suspected of robbing a Hyde Park Chase Bank at 1204 E. 53rd St. September 2, a South Loop Charter One Bank at 2131 S. China Pl. September 8 and a Chase Bank in Munster, Indiana September 8. The bandit is described as being between 25 and 35 years old, approximately 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8 with black hair and brown eyes, according to a release. Source:

Information Technology

45. October 7, Softpedia – (International) Public FTP servers in danger after bug found in libc. A weakness in a libc function allows attackers to execute denial of service attacks against numerous public FTP servers running on multiple operating systems. The vulnerability was discovered by a researcher at and is described as a multiple-vendor libc/glob(3) resource exhaustion. Apparently, the GLOB_LIMIT option, added back in 2001 to the glob(3) function with the purpose of limiting denial of service attacks, was improperly implemented and can be easily bypassed. According to the researcher, who already published proof-of-concept exploit code, an attacker can exhaust the memory and/or CPU resources of a FTP server by serving it a command containing a specially crafted string. The attack was tested successfully on OpenBSD 4.7, NetBSD 5.0.2, FreeBSD 7.3/8.1 and Oracle Sun Solaris 10, but should also work on any system using the GNU libc (glibc). Source:

46. October 7, Network World – (International) Media sites target of politically motivated DDoS attacks. The inclination to “shoot the messenger” bearing bad news is a well-known sentiment. In the online media world, news Web sites really are getting shot at — with massive denial-of-service attacks aimed at taking them offline. One large Web-hosting company in France is striving to protect the Web sites of its European media customers, which has meant fending off distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) that have brought sites crashing down in the past. The pattern of these attacks suggests they are triggered by angry readers raging against political news they don’t like. “We’ve had a lot of DDoS attacks against mainly the newspaper sites,” says the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and the technical director for SdV Plurimedia. Its business customers include well-known media companies such as Le Figaro and Les Echos, and the television network ARTE, as well other industries such as banking. While it’s not entirely clear who’s launching the DDoS attacks or why, they typically come when there’s news related to the Middle East, the CTO said. News related to the Middle East can trigger a slew of SYN floods from computers that appear to be located in many places around the world, including Brazil, Russia and China, and are controlled by an attacker in an unknown place, the CTO said. Source:

47. October 7, PC Magazine – (International) Microsoft to Patch 49 Vulnerabilities Next Week. Microsoft has released their Security Bulletin Advance Notification for October 2010. The bottom line is that Tuesday, October 12, the company will be releasing 16 security bulletins addressing 49 separate vulnerabilities. Windows, Internet Explorer, Office and the .NET Framework will be the products updated. Four of the bulletins have a maximum rating of Critical, 10 of Important, and two Moderate. One of the bulletins affects various versions of Microsoft SharePoint and Groove Server. Source:,2817,2370418,00.asp

Communications Sector

48. October 8, WHTM 27 Harrisburg – (Pennsylvania) Brothers charged with dangerous copper thefts. Two brothers have been charged in a series of dangerous thefts in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Troopers said they arrested one of the suspects after someone reported seeing him acting suspiciously near a communications tower. The other suspect was taken into custody October 7. State police said the brothers stole copper wire from communications towers throughout the county between February and September, most recently from a 911 tower in Newburg the week of September 27. Police said that theft alone caused more than $8,000 in damage. Emergency officials were able to make repairs to the towers, but they said the result could have been very bad. Other copper thefts were reported at towers in Middlesex, Shippensburg, South Newton, and Southampton Townships. Source:

49. October 8, Associated Press – (Florida) Pirate rap station interrupts classical broadcast. Listeners of two South Florida radio stations got a surprise when their Christian and classical music was interrupted with rap and profane language. On October 7, authorities found out why: A pirate station was using a nearby frequency. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said the illegal signal came from a Lauderdale Lakes home where an aspiring rapper had attached a laptop, audio mixer and computer to a large antenna. The station called itself Trap Radio and was using a frequency in between Christian and classical music broadcasts. Listeners called the licensed stations to complain. A suspect has been charged with unauthorized transmission or interference with public or commercial radio. Source:

50. October 8, Diamondback Online – (Maryland) Internet loss due to overload of new OIT system. After days of student complaints, officials from the office of information technology (OIT) said they have a fix for the buggy Internet service at the campus of the University of Maryland. The OIT manager of design development blamed losses of wireless Internet connectivity on a system of new wireless controllers that was not configured to handle the high usage the campus has experienced this semester. The office upgraded to new wireless controllers — equipment that “serve as the brains of the wireless network” — to accommodate the large number of users officials were anticipating, an OIT spokeswoman said. Source: