Monday, August 15, 2011

Complete DHS Daily Report for August 12, 2011

Daily Report

Top Stories

• Health department officials in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York warned people to avoid direct contact with the Hudson River after a 36-inch sewer main break, August 11. – Lower Hudson Journal News (See item 33)

33. August 12, Lower Hudson Journal News – (New York) New sewage spill sparks new Hudson River warning. Health department officials in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York issued a blanket warning August 11 telling people to avoid direct contact with the Hudson River after a sewer main break in Ossining. The warning comes only 3 weeks after a massive sewage spill out of New York City restricted the use of the Hudson for several days. Westchester's Croton Point Park Beach, and the private Philipse Manor Beach Club's beach were closed August 11. Officials on both sides of the river advised those using the Hudson for recreation — such as fishing, kayaking and boating — to avoid direct contact with the water. Ossining's mayor said a 4-foot-diameter tree fell into a 40- to 60-foot ravine surrounding Killbrook Creek and ruptured a 36-inch metal sewer main by the water's edge. Sewage was escaping the pipe at a rate of 1.5 million gallons per day, making the water turbid and gray. He said the break would not be easy to fix. Village workers added chlorine solution upstream to partially treat the spill before it reached the Hudson. The cause of the tree's collapse was unknown, but officials suggested recent storms may have compromised its root system or base. "Obviously, this is going to affect water quality along Westchester County's shoreline, we just don't know how much," said the Riverkeeper boat captain. In a statement August 11, the commissioner of the Rockland Department of Health said the proximity of the release and the tidal nature of the Hudson might cause the sewage to impact the western shore of the river as well. Repairs on the pipe were expected to be completed August 12. Source:|topnews|text|News

• Ten people were treated at a hospital August 12 after they were exposed to white powder at a phone manufacturing plant in Covington, Georgia, in what police are calling an intentional act. – Atlanta Journal-Constitution (See item 46)

46. August 12, Atlanta Journal-Constitution – (Georgia) 10 treated after exposure to powder in Covington. Ten people were treated at a hospital August 12 after they were exposed to white powder at a plant in Covington, Georgia in what police are calling an intentional act. Ten workers were treated for injuries after being exposed to a suspicious powder. A Covington police captain said the incident happened at Pure Talk, a phone-manufacturing company. He said around 2:30 a.m., an employee opened a package containing batteries. Two of the batteries were fused together, and when an employee separated them, a white powder was released. "This employee immediately started feeling a burning sensation on the hands, a numbing sensation" on the eyes and skin. "Immediately the other employees in the business began feeling similar effects of exposure to this powder," he said. The police captain said the employee who opened the package told police "there was a note attached to the batteries that indicated that what happened was purposeful, and the intent of the person that put this package together was to harm people." The employees were taken to Newton Medical Center for decontamination and treatment. A spokeswoman at the hospital said the patients were still being treated at 9:30 a.m. She said the emergency room was on lockdown due to the hazmat situation, and that patients needing treatment for other things would be diverted to nearby hospitals. She said the substance had not yet been identified, and a determination would be made later on whether any patients would be admitted. Source:


Banking and Finance Sector

21. August 12, – (Oklahoma) 3 charged in Sand Springs bank robbery; inside job alleged. Three people were charged August 11 in federal court in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with robbing a Sand Springs IBC Bank where one of them worked. The former employee is accused of plotting with two others to rob the bank of more than $8,000 June 14. All three are charged with robbing and conspiring to rob the bank. An FBI affidavit states tone defendant approached a teller station staffed by the former employee and presented her a note that implied he had a weapon and demanded money. Surveillance video showed the employee was on a cell phone minutes before the robbery and — after being handed the note — walked away from her station to the back of the teller area for about a minute before returning to give money to the robber, according to the affidavit. She made no effort to alert fellow bank employees of the ongoing robbery and in the aftermath complained of a "serious anxiety attack," the document said. On July 28, a Crime Stoppers tipster identified the robber and former employee as an associate. On August 10, the FBI and Sand Springs police received another tip from someone who claimed to have overheard the two talking about committing a bank robbery with the third defendant as the getaway driver. Source:

22. August 11, Cincinnati Enquirer – (Ohio) Real estate agent indicted for mortgage fraud. A real estate agent was charged August 11 with orchestrating a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme that authorities believe triggered dozens of foreclosures throughout Greater Cincinnati, Ohio. The agent is accused in a federal indictment of mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud. The Sycamore Township man, who faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted, pleaded not guilty in U.S. district court in Cincinnati. Federal prosecutors said he persuaded dozens of people, including friends and fellow members of Zion Temple church in Avondale, to buy houses at inflated prices so he could collect lucrative fees. They said the scheme ran from 2001 to 2006 during the height of the real estate boom, and did not begin to unravel until the crash in 2008, when many of the homeowners fell into foreclosure. Although prosecutors said the scheme resembles other mortgage frauds, they say this one differs in at least one respect: Many of the 59 properties involved are located near each other, often on the same streets. According to the indictment, the agent and others filled out loan applications with false data, and lied about income and the amount of assets held by the prospective home buyers. Prosecutors said the agent also claimed his home repair business, Quality Home Maintenance, had done extensive work on many of the houses. They said he then used bogus invoices for work he never did to justify a higher home sale price. Source:|newswell|text|communities|s

23. August 10, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel – (Florida) Boca man pleads guilty to conspiring to bribe bankers and fake financial documents. The owner of a Boca Raton, Florida, company pleaded guilty August 10 to conspiring to bribe local bankers and falsify financial documents to secure more than $1.5 million in fraudulent small business loans and lines of credit. The owner admitted orchestrating what federal prosecutors have described as an unique form of fraud: enlisting corrupt bankers to approve business loans for clients with poor credit histories. He and his employees at Palm Beach Business Consultants attempted to push through more than $10 million in bogus loans and lines of credit since the firm opened in 2003, according to the U.S. attorney's office. After federal authorities caught on to the scheme, the convict began working with them and agreed to introduce an undercover FBI agent to the bankers. The sting culminated in January with the arrests of 15 people, including the convict, a former Broward sheriff's investigative aide, and seven Broward and Palm Beach bankers. Source:

24. August 10, Armenia News – (International) Passenger of Yerevan-Moscow flight arrested over fake credit cards. Employees of Armenian National Security Service (NSS) detained an Armenian citizen on a Yerevan, Armenia to Moscow plane in an attempt to transfer fake credit cards. NSS officers found 21 fake credit cards issued by U.S. banks. The man planned to execute bank transactions to seize money and property. Criminal proceedings were instituted. An investigation is underway. Source:

Information Technology Sector

42. August 12, The Register – (International) Gary McKinnon support Web site defaced. A support blog for the alleged Pentagon hacker had its domain name hijacked August 12. Serial defacer TurkGuvenligi posted an image of an old fella spinning a plate on his finger on the FreeGary support blog. TurkGuvenligi is a serial Web site defacer whose previous victims include Secunia. Defacers typically use search engines to search for vulnerable sites before setting on victims and uploading digital graffiti on these sites. Such hacks, by themselves, are normally trivial and seldom expose more sensitive systems. The FreeGary site was restored to normal August 12. Source:

43. August 12, The Register – (International) Twitter 'Stalker app' just a phishing scam. A "Stalkers app" doing the rounds on Twitter is actually a phishing scam, security watchers warn. The Stalkers app, which purports to be officially sanctioned and to track people who are "stalking your Twitter", is promoted via messages linking to the application, which does nothing except coax victims into handing over their usernames and passwords to crooks. Although the jump page for the app might appear at first to be a legitimate Twitter page, a closer inspection of its URL reveals the page has no relationship with the micro-blogging service. The scam is ultimately designed to gain access to compromised accounts that can then be abused either to further promote the rogue app or to send spam-related or malicious site links to a compromised user's followers. Victims who make the mistake of reusing their Twitter passwords elsewhere, such as on banking or Webmail sites, also expose these more sensitive accounts to attack. Source:

44. August 11, Associated Press – (New York) Cops: Fired worker injures 4 at NY chip plant site. Police said a man fired from his job at a Malta, New York computer chip plant construction site has been charged with assaulting four former co-workers, including one hit in the face with a fire extinguisher. The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office told local media the 42-year-old man of Albany was arrested August 11, a day after the four workers were attacked at the GlobalFoundries site. Authorities said the suspect had recently been fired from his job as an electrical worker by one of the subcontractors at the site. Three of the injured workers were taken to local hospitals. Their conditions were not available. The man was charged with assault. He was being held in the county jail on $50,000 bail. Source:

Communications Sector

45. August 11, Bloomberg Businessweek – (International) Hackers crashing Hong Kong Bourse website forces filing changes. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. said it will find new ways of publicizing earnings and other corporate events after hackers jammed its public news website. The bourse, acting to safeguard communications from listed companies, will use e-mails and newspaper advertisements to back up its central online system, the Chief Executive Officer said at a press briefing. Trading in HSBC Holdings Plc, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and five other stocks was halted on Aug. 10 and access to filings was disrupted again yesterday amid a "sustained and systematic" attack, he said. Hong Kong Exchanges is at the least second bourse this year to report an attack by hackers. While the company has defended itself against previous attempts, this was more sophisticated, he said. The target was the news disclosure service and the exchange's trading and clearing operations haven't been affected, he said The assault was a so-called distributed denial of service attack aimed at preventing access to the exchange's public news feed by overwhelming its capacity to handle website traffic, he said. Should the hackers change strategies, the Chief Executive Officer said the bourse may not be able to defend the website and its backup online bulletin board. Source: