Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Complete DHS Daily Report for February 9, 2011

Daily Report

Top Stories

• WTSP 10 St. Petersburg reports a Southwest Airlines flight from Tampa to Milwaukee was quarantined February 7 after about a dozen passengers started feeling sick at the same time. (See item 14)

14. February 8, WTSP 10 St. Petersburg – (Wisconsin; Florida) Pilot declares medical emergency on flight from Tampa. A Southwest Airlines flight from Tampa, Florida, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was quarantined for more than an hour February 7 after about a dozen passengers all started feeling sick at the same time. Emergency crews, including ambulances, were waiting for Southwest flight 703 when it arrived at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport February 7. About a dozen passengers started feeling flu-like symptoms. One passenger “had blue lips, but I don’t think anybody was throwing up — a couple needed oxygen,” the passenger said. That’s what led the captain of the plane to declare a medical emergency and take it to an isolated gate. Hazardous materials crews and experts from the Milwaukee Health Department were called out. The jet was quarantined on the ground for an hour. Two of the passengers were taken to the hospital. The other ill passengers did not require medical attention. A Milwaukee TV station reported the plane was sterilized by Southwest and is back in service. Source:

• The GPS industry warned a proposed broadband Internet network could effectively jam GPS signals, according to Aviation Web. See item 42 below in the Communications Sector


Banking and Finance Sector

10. February 7, Anniston Star – (Alabama) Deputies arrest suspects who allegedly threatened to blow up Alexandria bank. Two women are in police custody under suspicion of robbing a Noble Bank branch in Alexandria, Alabama, February 7. The two Calhoun County residents are each charged with first-degree robbery. The Calhoun County Sheriff said one of the women entered the bank and demanded money from an employee just after 1 p.m. Deputies said the woman –- it was unclear at 5 p.m. February 7 which one –- threatened to blow up the bank if she did not receive the money. That same suspect told the bank employee she was holding the employee’s family hostage, had snipers nearby ready to shoot at the bank, and had the building wired with explosives to persuade the employee to give her money, the chief deputy said. None of the threats turned out to be true. The employee complied with the suspect’s demands, and the woman and her accomplice left in a white Dodge van with Champagne-colored stripes, witnesses told deputies. Source:

11. February 7, Help Net Security – (International) Russian hacker steals $10 million. A 27-year old Russian hacker pleaded guilty to stealing $10 million from a former Royal Bank of Scotland division back in 2008, and he’s awaiting a verdict and sentencing at the end of this week or at the beginning of the week of February 14. The trial is being held in Novosibirsk in Siberia, and the man has admitted that he was part of the international hacking ring that executed the cyber heist. According to Reuters, the ring hacked into the accounts of the bank’s customers, raised the limit that regulated the maximum withdrawal of funds that could be executed in one day, and organized a simultaneous withdrawal of the funds from ATMs located in Europe, the United States, and Asia. Source:

12. February 7, Las Vegas Sun – (Nevada) Man accused of skimming credit card information at 3 businesses. Metro Police investigators in Las Vegas are asking patrons of three Southern Nevada businesses to look over their bank and credit card information following the arrest of a man in a fraud investigation. The 53-year-old male was arrested at his home and charged with fraudulent use of a credit card of more than $100. Police said several credit card skimming devices, about 350 credit cards, ATM cards and gift cards that contained compromised account information were recovered at three businesses associated with the suspect. Police said he had an “ownership interest” in the businesses, and state business records show the suspect is the president of Mask, Inc., which operates out of Carson City. Metro, the FBI and Homeland Security investigators served search warrants February 2 at The Cigarette Box, 5891 W. Craig Road; Colton’s General Store, 675 U.S. Highway 95 in Searchlight; and The Cigarette Box, 2311 S. Casino Drive in Laughlin. Police said the suspect allegedly obtained credit card information from existing accounts and then transferred the information to other cards. The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected, police said. Police are asking patrons of the businesses who notice anything suspicious with their bank account information to contact their bank or financial institution. Source:

13. February 7, Softpedia – (International) ZeuS development might continue as source code offered for sale. The source code of the ZeuS banking trojan is being offered for sale on the underground market suggesting the malware might continue to be developed independently from SpyEye. Security researchers from Trend Micro found some of the first versions of the new SpyEye which borrows several components from ZeuS, earlier in February. An independent security reporter, revealed the week of January 30 that the source of the ZeuS crimeware toolkit is being offered for sale by someone calling themselves “nem” on an underground trading forum. “Full ZeuS Souurce code of last v2.0.8.9 (includes everything). Requires MSVC++ 2010. You can create your own HWID licenses and much more,” the sales pitch reads. Looking at the seller’s forum stats it appears he is a member since mid-2009 and has a very good reputation, which makes it likely the offer is legitimate. The price is not shown and is probably up for negotiation. Source:

Information Technology

37. February 8, Help Net Security – (International) Malware increases by 46% in only one year. There is a steady growth of threats to mobile platforms, according to a new McAfee report. The number of pieces of new mobile malware in 2010 increased by 46 percent compared with 2009. The report also uncovered 20 million new pieces of malware in 2010, equating to nearly 55,000 new malware threats every day. Of the almost 55 million total pieces of malware McAfee Labs has identified, 36 percent was created in 2010. Concurrently, spam accounted for 80 percent of total e-mail traffic in Q4 2010, the lowest point since the first quarter of 2007. Source:

38. February 8, IDG News Service – (International) HP delays shipments of laptops with Intel’s new chips. Hewlett-Packard (HP) said February 7 it had delayed plans to launch new laptops with Intel’s latest Core processors, just a few days after HP stopped making PCs that previously paired the chips with Intel’s faulty chipset. HP originally planned to make new Pavilion DV6 and DV7 consumer laptops available in the United States February 27, which has now been delayed to spring. The laptops will include the latest Core i5 and i7 chips based on the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture, which started shipping in January. During the week of January 30, Intel revealed a problem in a chipset tied to the new Core processors, which it said could delay laptop and desktop launches by weeks. The chipset flaw prompted companies such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, and MSI to stop selling certain desktops and laptops. Source:

39. February 7, Homeland Security News Wire – (International) Arab Silicon Valley plan raise fears of CPU shortages, security risks. GlobalFoundries, originally part of CPU manufacturer AMD — the second largest in the United States — plans to spend $7 billion on a new chip fabrication facility in Abu Dhabi, the first in the Middle East. Business and security experts said it is not a good idea to have a large segment of the United States and world economy depend on chips manufactured in an unstable, turmoil-prone region. The worry is not only that a hostile government coming to power would cut off computer components necessary for economic activity and national security, but that foreign governments could build software or hardware into chips that could transmit confidential information. Source:

40. February 7, Homeland Security News Wire – (International) More than half of iPhone apps track users. A recent study found that more than half of all iPhone apps could track users and collect data without an individual’s knowledge. Researchers analyzed more than 1,400 iPhone apps to determine how they handle sensitive data, and found that more than half collect an individual’s unique device ID or track a user’s location. When combined with links to a Facebook account, the app could gain a lot of sensitive data. Researchers found that 36 apps blatantly violated privacy rights by accessing an individual’s location without informing the user, while another 5 went so far as to take data from the user’s address book without first seeking permission. Source:

41. February 7, Los Angeles Times – (California) Fake iPods and iPhones are seized from downtown warehouses. More than $10 million in counterfeit iPods, iPhones, and other items have been seized from a sophisticated downtown warehouse operation in Los Angeles, California, port police announced February 7. “This was a well-funded operation, and the counterfeits looked very authentic,” the port police chief said. Investigators said they thought the shipment was designed to get Apple Inc. lookalike products into the market during the recent buzz over the Consumer Electronics Show. Some of the products were designed to look like older Apple products. The seized items were shipped from Asia, the port police chief said. The case stems from a stolen-cargo investigation that led port police to several downtown Los Angeles and Vernon locations in December and January. During searches of the locations, port police discovered counterfeit products with an estimated street value of more than $1.4 million; stolen electronics, toys, and blankets worth about $2.5 million; and bank account receipts that indicate the operation generated more than $7 million in profits. Source:,0,4342503.story

For another story, see item 13 above in the Banking and Finance Sector

Communications Sector

42. February 5, Aviation Web – (National) G broadband may jam GPS. The GPS industry warned that a proposed broadband Internet network could effectively jam GPS signals. Further, it said it has data showing that any of the anticipated 40,000 transmitters can make a Garmin 430 go dark at a range of 5 miles. GPS World calls the proposal by LightSquared “disastrous” and warns of major problems for all kinds of GPS-reliant devices. The publication said a study by GPS-industry stakeholders, including Garmin, determined the LightSquared network “will create a disastrous interference problem for GPS receiver operation to the point where GPS receivers will cease to operate (complete loss of fix) when in the vicinity of these transmitters.” That, says the report, “will deny GPS service over vast areas of the United States.” The industry told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the potential problem but the FCC approved the multibillion-dollar effort, which will carry 4G broadband throughout the country. Source:

For more stories, see items 37 and 41 above in the Information Technology Sector