Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Complete DHS Daily Report for July 5, 2011

Daily Report

Top Stories

• The Arizona Republic reports a fire at a power substation in Mesa, Arizona, June 30 knocked out power to 150,000 homes, businesses, hospitals, and an airport. (See item 5)

5. July 1, Arizona Republic – (Arizona) Mesa transformer fire: Power restored; cause unknown. A fire at a power substation in east Mesa, Arizona, set off a cascade of electrical failures June 30 that left about 150,000 homes and businesses without power. Power has been restored for all customers, a SRP spokesman said July 1. The last customers in Mesa without power had their service restored at about 11:30 p.m. June 30, he said. The problems began with a fire in an electrical transformer. Though the fire was doused, the extra load placed on other stations led to failures throughout the afternoon. There is still no answer as to what caused the fire, the SRP spokesman said. There will be an investigation, but it could still be weeks until a cause is declared, he said. Blackouts hit nearly every area of Mesa and Apache Junction at various times, forcing hospitals to use emergency generators, and prompting companies to send thousands of workers home early. Business took a hit as stores and theaters closed. Falcon Field Municipal Airport in Mesa was forced to suspend operations for several hours and divert traffic to other airports after the control tower lost power, and nearby Boeing was forced to cease operations for the day and send 4,000 workers home. Mesa City Hall lost power for about 45 minutes before it was restored about 3:30 p.m. The failure knocked out traffic lights, but Mesa police said only two minor accidents were reported. A key concern was with area hospitals, many of which were forced to go to generator power for most of the afternoon. At least one hospital postponed several surgeries. Source: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/06/30/20110630mesa-transformer-fire-abrk.html

• According to WAGA 5 Atlanta, a Fulton County deputy and three detention officers at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia, were indicted June 30 on charges they smuggled drugs and cell phones to inmates. (See item 39)

39. June 30, WAGA 5 Atlanta – (Georgia) FBI agents arrest Fulton Co. jail officers. A Fulton County deputy and three detention officers at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia, were indicted June 30 on charges they smuggled drugs and cell phones into the jail and delivered them to inmates. All four are charged with extortion for their roles in accepting payments to deliver contraband to inmates inside the Fulton County Jail. Sources said this could be the first wave of officers and staff to be put behind bars. The Fulton County Jail has recently been plagued with contraband in the jail, including dozens of cell phones. The week of June 20, an inmate ended up with a gun, got out of his cell, and shot another inmate on the maximum security seventh floor of the jail. Source: http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/all/Fulton-Deputies-Picked-Up-in-Jail-Probe-20110630-am-sd


Banking and Finance Sector

14. July 30, Associated Press – (National) Feds charge 3 CEOs with penny-stock fraud. Three CEOs face civil and criminal charges of stock manipulation after regulators said they tried to bribe undercover FBI agents to buy shares of their companies so the stock prices would rise, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) said June 30. The executives thought they were bribing a corrupt broker and representatives of a corrupt pension plan trustee, the SEC said. The sting also netted a consultant and a marketer who created a Web site with false testimonials to make a stock more attractive. The charges involve so-called penny stocks, which trade for less than a dollar. The president and CEO of KCM Holdings Inc., and the CEO of Real American Brands Inc. tried to funnel and conceal kickbacks to the supposed pension plan trustee in exchange for fund’s purchasing millions of shares of their stocks, the SEC said. They also tried to bribe a broker to buy KCM stock for the broker’s clients. Both the broker and the trustee actually were FBI agents. The president and CEO of SmokeFree Innotec Inc. paid kickbacks to the supposed trustee in exchange for the fund’s buying shares of SmokeFree, the SEC said. Another man charged in the scheme created a Web site to promote shares of Xtreme Motorsports International Inc., the SEC said. He allegedly promoted the site by sending e-mail blasts to potential investors, and posting false testimonials about the success of the Web site’s stock picks. Source: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/06/30/business-business-and-professional-services-us-sec-penny-stock-kickbacks_8544438.html

15. July 30, Washington Examiner – (Virginia) GPS helps police nab N.Va. bank heist suspect. A man suspected in five northern Virginia bank robberies was nabbed June 8 after police placed a Global Positioning System (GPS) device on his sister’s car the day before he used the vehicle to commit a sixth heist, according to court records. He was arrested following a police pursuit after he allegedly robbed a BB&T Bank in McLean June 8. Authorities were investigating five armed bank robberies in Fairfax County. One was reported in April, three in May, and one in June. Partial license plate numbers and descriptions of vehicles used in two of the robberies matched cars registered to an Oxon Hill woman. On June 7, the FBI put a GPS tracker on one of them while it was parked outside. The next day, a man robbed the BB&T Bank at 2941 Chain Bridge Road in McLean. Court records say he jumped on a counter, pointed a gun at a teller, and demanded money. He fled after receiving cash. The teller also handed over a dye pack, staining the stolen bills and the suspect. Police used the GPS device to track the vehicle, and after a chase through Maryland and Washington, D.C., the suspect was captured. As of June 30, the suspect had only been charged in the June 8 robbery. Search warrants executed the week of June 20 at his apartment and his sister’s apartment said authorities are looking for evidence to link him to other crimes. Source: http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/crime-punishment/2011/06/gps-helps-police-nab-nva-bank-heist-suspect

16. July 30, WUSA 9 Washington D.C. – (District of Columbia) Armored car robbery suspect shot during daytime robbery attempt. An armored car robbery suspect was shot June 30 in northeast Washington, D.C., during an attempted robbery. The suspect is dead and the two guards are fine. Police said the suspect approached the guards with a gun at around 11 a.m. in the 200 block of Michigan Avenue, NE. At least one guard, possibly both, opened fire, and hit the man perhaps seven times — killing him. Police are looking for other possible accomplices. Police expanded the crime scene after they found a round on the sidewalk where people were walking by about 150 feet from the Capital One Bank, where the shooting took place. Police brought the armored car guards back to the scene shortly after noon and took their guns. Investigators are trying to figure out if the shooting was justified. Source: http://wusa9.com/news/article/156906/373/Armored-Car-Robbery-Suspect-Shot-

17. July 1, Tuscaloosa News – (Alabama) Serial bank robber pleads guilty to federal charges. The Montgomery, Alabama man who robbed the same Cadence Bank branch in Tuscaloosa three times pleaded guilty to federal robbery charges June 29. The 49-year-old man admitted to the armed robberies of Cadence Bank’s Indian Hills branch on McFarland Boulevard and the Bank of Tuscaloosa branch on North McFarland Circle, stealing a total of $47,541. He also admitted to a bank robbery in Auburn, which was thwarted before he got any money. His girlfriend pleaded guilty in April to being an accessory in the robberies. She confessed to robbing the banks and provided information to the FBI, according to court documents. Source: http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20110701/NEWS/110639985/1007?p=all&pgall

18. July 1, NBC 5 Chicago – (Illinois) ‘Nun on the Run’ suspect charged in robberyPalos Heights, Illinois bank was robbed over Memorial Day weekend to pay back embezzled money, federal officials said. A 23-year-old woman was charged June 3with holding up a TCF Bank at gunpoint in May while dressed as a nun and wearinmask similar to those in the film “The Town.” The suspect and her unknown accomplice got away with $120,000 in cash from a bank where she once worked, according to authorities. The former teller already faced bank embezzlement chargeAuthorities accused her of stealing $20,000 in April from a Chase Bank branch in Country Club Hills where she worked. She promised to repay it, the Chicago Tribureports. Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Nun-on-the-Run-124845554.html

19. June 30, KSFN 30 Fresno – (International) International mortgage fraud operatibust in Fresno. Police June 29 broke what they believe is an international mortgagfraud operation with a hub in Fresno, California. Officers arrested two men at a northwest Fresno home, and put them in jail on charges of grand theft. Police servefour search warrants June 20, and they have uncovered more than 20 victims — pein dire straits who were taken advantage of when they were looking for a quick waout. The two men lived in the home and operated a credit repair business and a mortgage modification business. Police said the companies were nothing more thanfronts for financial crime. Consumer Credit Repair and Consumer Financial Servictargeted people with bad credit or homes in the foreclosure process and promised aeasy fix. Investigators said callers from India contacted victims and convinced thesend money to an office in Fresno. This is the office — nothing more than a mail drbox where police said the suspects picked up the cash and left their victims sinking even further into debt. Source: http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/local&id=8225063

Information Technology Sector

42. June 30, Computerworld – (International) Microsoft clarifies MBR rootkit removal advice. Microsoft June 29 clarified the advice it gave users whose Windows PCs are infected with a new, sophisticated rootkit that buries itself on the hard drive’s boot sector. Several security researchers agreed with Microsoft’s revisions, but a botnet expert doubted the advice guaranteed a clean PC. The week of June 20, the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) highlighted a new Trojan, dubbed “Popureb,” and said the only way to eradicate the malware was to use a recovery disc. Because a recovery disc returns Windows to its factory settings, Microsoft was telling users they needed to reinstall Windows to completely clean an infected PC. An MMPC engineer clarified Microsoft’s advice June 29: “If your system is infected with Trojan:Win32/Popureb.E, we advise fixing the MBR using the Windows Recovery Console to return the MBR to a clean state,” he wrote. Once the MBR has been scrubbed, users can run antivirus software to scan the PC for additional malware for removal. However, the director of malware research at Dell SecureWorks, a well-known botnet expert disagreed. He said reinstalling Windows was the only way to insure that MBR rootkits and the additional malware they install are completely removed. Source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9218062/Microsoft_clarifies_MBR_rootkit_removal_advice?taxonomyId=17&pageNumber=1

43. June 29, Reuters – (International) Vulnerabilities found in Google Chrome PC security. Google claims computers running its recently released Chrome operating system are much safer than traditional PCs, partly because user data is stored in the Internet cloud and not on the machine. Yet researchers at an independent computer security firm warn that the Chrome PC’s reliance on Web computing makes it vulnerable to the same attacks that hackers have been launching on Web sites and Web browsers for years. A researcher with WhiteHat Security said he identified a flaw in a Chrome OS note-taking application he exploited to take control of a Google e-mail account. He said he has since discovered other applications with the same security flaw. “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” he told Reuters. “This is just evolving around us. We can see this becoming a whole new field of malware.” He declined to identify the applications with the security bugs. Those applications belong to a class of software programs known as “extensions,” which users download from the Google Chrome Web Store. The bulk of Chrome OS extensions are written by independent software developers, not by Google. The researcher said the problem with the extensions is related to a design flaw in Google Chrome OS: the operating system gives extensions sweeping rights to access data stored on the cloud. Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/29/us-google-hackers-idUSTRE75S7CZ20110629

Communications Sector

Nothing to report