Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Complete DHS Daily Report for March 6, 2012

Daily Report

Top Stories

• A key segment of Enbridge Inc’s oil pipeline system in the Midwest will remain shut down for many days in the wake of a deadly accident and fire in Illinois, the company said March 4. – Reuters (See item 4)

4. March 4, Reuters – (Illinois; Midwest) Enbridge U.S. oil line to be shut for four more days. A key segment of Enbridge Inc’s oil pipeline system in the Midwest will remain shut down for up to 4 more days after a deadly vehicle accident in Illinois caused an oil leak and fire, likely squeezing supplies for refiners in the region, the company said March 4. The shutdown of Enbridge’s 318,000 barrel a day Line 14/64 is part of a network that carries oil produced in Canada to Griffith, Indiana, from Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge, whose pipelines carry the bulk of Canadian oil exports to the United States, idled the line early March 3 after what emergency officials described as a two-vehicle collision at an above-ground portion of the conduit close to a pumping station near New Lenox, Illinois. The westernmost portion of the pipeline, Line 14, could restart March 7 and the remainder, Line 64, March 8, an Enbridge spokeswoman said. The outage will have a large impact on other parts of the massive pipeline system, she added. Enbridge will be forced to slow the flow of crude on pipelines between Alberta and Superior, or it may even shut some down, to make sure storage tanks do not become filled to capacity. Also, the pipelines that carry crude to the main system from Canadian production facilities face flow restrictions. Source: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/consumer/sns-rt-us-enbridge-firetre8230k6-20120304,0,84921.story

• Police believe mercury found in the cafeteria of an Albany, New York hospital was deliberately placed in food there. – Albany Times Union (See item 21)

21. March 5, Albany Times Union – (New York) Police, FBI in mercury probe. City police are treating the discovery of mercury in the cafeteria of the Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, as a criminal matter, saying there is a possibility the toxic metal was intentionally placed in the hospital’s food, the Albany Times Union reported March 5. The investigation, which is being aided by New York State Police and FBI, began March 2, when a hospital employee found a tiny metal ball on her food tray that was tested and found to be mercury, a city police spokesman said. The cafeteria was closed as a hospital HAZMAT team combed the room, where they found more minuscule balls of mercury in food containers and other parts of the cafeteria. The spokesman could not say how much mercury was found, but said the fact the rare metal was found in the food is the reason why law enforcement is considering that the chemical was specifically placed there. The cafeteria is the central eating area for patients, visitors, and employees. Hospital officials and police could not say what food products the mercury was found in. The hospital released a statement March 4 indicating that its poison control experts and toxicologists investigated the samples and determined that exposure to or ingestion of the mercury poses no risk to anyone who may have been exposed to it. Source: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Police-FBI-in-mercury-probe-3381305.php

• The cleanup began in 10 states in the Midwest and South after dozens of tornadoes killed 39 people and destroyed hundreds of businesses, schools, and other buildings March 2 and 3. – CNN (See item 42)

42. March 4, CNN – (National) Grief, resilience after storms rip through states, killing 39. With dozens dead and scores of buildings reduced to rubble, residents of the Midwest and South March 4 were assessing the damage that a series of vicious twisters left behind March 2 and 3, CNN reported. By the time the powerful storm system faded, 39 were dead: 21 in Kentucky, 13 in Indiana, 3 in Ohio, and 1 each in Alabama and Georgia. Tall, once-sturdy trees littered the ground. Bright yellow school buses lay smashed into buildings. Garbage bins and wooden beams, which had flown through the air, resurfaced hundreds of yards away. The tornado outbreak began March 2 and extended into March 3, affecting millions of people from Indiana to Georgia. The National Weather Service has confirmed that at least 42 tornadoes swept across 10 states March 2. More than 400 National Guard troops were deployed in Kentucky, while 250 more were dispatched in Indiana, according to officials. Two tornadoes hit Henryville, Indiana, destroying a school complex that housed multiple schools, as well as most homes and businesses in the town. In addition to the dead, hospitals continued to treat scores suffering from major trauma to minor injuries related to sudden ferocious spurts of high winds, powerful hail, and drenching rains. Source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/04/us/severe-weather/index.html?hpt=us_c1

• A federal appeals court upheld a ruling that found the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers liable for property damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. The appellate court upheld a lower court ruling that shoddy work on a shipping channel led to levee failures and massive flood damage. – Associated Press (See item 47)

47. March 3, Associated Press – (Louisiana) Corps of Engineers liable for levee failures. A federal appeals court upheld a judge’s landmark ruling March 2, that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is liable for property owners’ claims, saying the shoddy work on a shipping channel caused billions of dollars in damage in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge. A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the federal government’s argument it is entitled to immunity from lawsuits blaming Katrina’s flood damage on the Corps’ operation and maintenance of the Mississippi River–Gulf Outlet, a New Orleans navigation channel. The federal government asked the 5th Circuit to reverse a 2009 decision by a U.S. District Judge, who ruled flooding in St. Bernard Parish and New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward from the 2005 storm was a man-made disaster created by Corps negligence. The judge awarded nearly $720,000 in damages to five plaintiffs who sued. The Corps has also received roughly 500,000 administrative claims that could become fodder for similar suits. Source: http://www.sunherald.com/2012/03/03/3793742/corps-of-engineers-liable-for.html


Banking and Finance Sector

16. March 2, Philadelphia Inquirer – (Pennsylvania) Phila. ‘slumlord’ indicted in $10 million bank fraud. A businessman once described as a “millionaire slumlord” was charged March 2 with defrauding banks out of $10 million in an effort to shore up his empire in Kensington and Port Richmond areas of Philadelphia. The indictment alleged he defrauded the East River Bank and Republic First Bank out of more than $10 million in 2007 by lying to the bank about property titles and income from properties he put up for collateral. The U.S. attorney’s office said he operated a real estate business in Port Richmond through which he controlled more than 300 properties. He pledged 134 properties to secure the loans, but he did not hold good title for all of them because he had entered into various ownership agreements with occupants of several of the properties, the indictment said. He also allegedly lied about the amount of rent he collected from some of the properties, and listed vacant buildings as occupied. If convicted, he faces a maximum possible sentence of 120 years in prison, 5 years of supervised release, and $4 million in fines, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Source: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/141181123.html

17. March 2, WCBS 2 New York – (New York) FBI seeks help finding ‘Snubnosed Bandit’ wanted in 6 NYC bank robberies. The FBI is asking for the public’s help to identify and locate the so-called Snubnosed Bandit, WCBS 2 New York reported March 2. The suspect, given his name for the weapon he allegedly uses, is wanted in connection with six armed robberies in New York City. The latest came March 2 at an Apple Bank in Brooklyn. The suspect approached the counter, pushed aside a customer, and pulled out a silver revolver before demanding cash, the FBI said. He later fled in a vehicle. The FBI believes the Snubnosed Bandit may have used livery vehicles to transport himself to and from previous bank robberies. He is considered armed and dangerous. Other locations robbed include: a Capital One Bank in Brooklyn, October 18, 2011; an HSBC Bank in Queens, December 7, 2011; a Sovereign Bank in Jackson Heights, January 6; and a Chase Bank in Queens, January 28. Source: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/03/02/fbi-seeks-help-finding-snubnosed-bandit-wanted-in-6-nyc-bank-robberies/

Information Technology

37. March 5, Softpedia – (International) 14 high severity vulnerabilities fixed in Chrome Stable 17.0.963.65. Google released a new variant of Chrome Stable 17 to address important vulnerabilities that may have affected the safety of users. Chrome Stable 17.0.963.65 addresses 14 high-severity flaws that include use-after-free issues in the v8 element wrapper, in SVG value handling, in SVG document handling, in SVG use handling, in multi-column handling, in quote handling, in flexbox with floats, in class attribute handling, in table section handling, and with SVG animation elements. Other security holes include an out-of-bounds read in text handling, bad casts in anonymous block splitting and in-line box handling, and a buffer overflow in the Skia drawing library. Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/14-High-Severity-Vulnerabilities-Fixed-in-Chrome-Stable-17-0-963-65-256594.shtml

38. March 5, Softpedia – (International) GitHub hacked by unhappy member. GitHub, the popular code repository, was hacked March 4 by a member displeased with the fact no one took seriously a vulnerability he identified in Ruby on Rails. According to ZDNet, a Russian programmer informed Rails of a mass assignment vulnerability that left most applications exposed to hackers, but Rails representatives claimed the flaw was not in their software. Since GitHub was partly developed in Ruby on Rails, certain sections of the Web site were also found to be weak by the programmer. He disclosed this to GitHub and they collaborated on addressing the issues. However, 2 days later, the programmer found the site’s administrators did not patch all the security holes so he decided to exploit them. A public key form update vulnerability allowed him to gain administrator rights and perform unauthorized actions. Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/GitHub-Hacked-by-Unhappy-Member-256634.shtml

Communications Sector

39. March 4, WTVO 17 Rockford; WQRF 39 Rockford – (Illinois) WTVO/WQRF resume broadcasting; tower inspection complete. WTVO 17 Rockford and WQRF 39 Rockford in Illinois were back on the air March 4 after the TV stations were evacuated March 2. Low altitude winds and heavy snow caused the guy wires connected to the TV antenna tower to bounce wildly. The chief engineer said that let the tower sway. “They could actually start shaking the tower down, or cause damage to the tower which is what we wanted to check on before we let people back in the building,” he said. After the station was evacuated, there was no one left to program the broadcast. The engineering staff also chose to cut power to the station to protect equipment. A tower inspection team spent March 4 climbing 700 feet to the top to examine the metal and bolts. “We are confident in the structural integrity of the tower, but we always want to err on the side of caution when it comes to safety of our staff as well as the safety of those living in the shadow of our tower,” the station vice president and general manager said in a statement. Both stations were off the air again shortly while the tower crew climbed past the antennas. Source: http://mystateline.com/fulltext-news?nxd_id=324742

40. March 2, WNEP 16 Scranton – (Pennsylvania) Cable TV outage. About 6,500 cable customers lost television service the week of February 27 in part of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The outage began early March 1, and for some, service was still on the fritz as of the afternoon of March 2. Officials of Service Electric Cablevision in Mahanoy City said their phones were jammed. The service outage affected the Frackville and Mahanoy City area. The technical problem happened as the cable company was making changes, including the channel line up. “Some of the converter boxes are not talking back to us so we are going on a case by case and hitting every one of these homes making sure that it is working as customers call us in here or e-mail us,” a Service Electric Cablevision spokesman said. Source: http://www.wnep.com/wnep-schyl-cable-tv-outage-20120302,0,7301925.story