Tuesday, August 21, 2012 

Daily Report

Top Stories

 • Lightning sparked a fire at a chemical plant in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, triggering hundreds of evacuations, road closures, and a shutdown of marine traffic on the Mississippi River. – New Orleans Times-Picayune

6. August 18, New Orleans Times-Picayune – (Louisiana) Belle Chasse evacuation order is lifted. A mandatory evacuation order issued August 17 as a result of a chemical release at the Sun Drilling Products Corp. plant in the Belle Chasse community of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, was lifted and hundreds of residents were allowed to return home August 18. Lightning apparently struck a storage tank the afternoon of August 17, sparking a fire that sent what officials feared was hazardous smoke over the community and triggering mandatory evacuations, road closures, and a shutdown of marine traffic on the Mississippi River. The strike occurred near the Belle Chasse ferry landing. The U.S. Coast Guard identified the burning material as divinylbenzene. Ferry service was halted and Louisiana 23, Plaquemines Parish’s main thoroughfare, was closed. A 4-mile stretch of the Mississippi River, from mile marker 74 to mile marker 78, was closed to marine traffic the night of August 17. Source: http://www.nola.com/traffic/index.ssf/2012/08/belle_chasse_evacuation_order.html

• The Securities and Exchange Commission announced fraud charges against a company they said bilked more than 1 million investors out of $600 million in an Internet Ponzi scheme. – CNNMoney See item 14 below in the Banking and Finance Sector

• The U.S. Coast Guard said responders rescued 72 people on a sightseeing vessel that began taking on water in Alaska’s Glacier Bay after reportedly striking a rock. – Associated Press

15. August 20, Associated Press – (Alaska) Crews rescue 72 when Alaska sightseeing vessel takes on water. The U.S. Coast Guard said responders rescued 72 people on a sightseeing vessel that began taking on water in Alaska’s Glacier Bay after reportedly striking a rock. A Coast Guard spokesman said there were reports of minor injuries in the incident August 19, which involved the 79-foot Baranof Wind. The Coast Guard said the flooding was contained and there were no immediate reports of pollution. Seventy people were transferred to the Holland America cruise ship Volendam, which was expected to transport them to Bartlett Cover. From there, another vessel took them to Juneau. Two others were taken aboard a National Park Service boat, and four crew members remained on board the Baranof Wind. Source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/19/crews-rescue-72-when-alaska-sightseeing-takes-on-water/

• A multistate outbreak of Salmonella linked to cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana has killed two people in Kentucky and sickened 141 people in 20 States, state and federal health officials said. – Food Safety News

24. August 18, Food Safety News – (National) Multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to Indiana cantaloupes. A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana has killed two people in Kentucky and sickened 141 people nationwide, the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the Indiana State Department of Health confirmed to Food Safety News. Thirty-one people have been hospitalized, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A total of 20 States have been affected by the outbreak, FDA reported. Illnesses by State are as follows: Alabama (7), Arkansas (3), California, (2), Georgia (1), Illinois (17), Indiana (13), Iowa (7), Kentucky (50), Michigan (6), Minnesota (3), Missouri (9), Mississippi (2), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (3), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (1), and Wisconsin (2). Illnesses began in early July, with new cases still likely to be reported in the coming weeks. The 22 percent victim hospitalization rate is unusually high for Salmonella. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was collaborating with State health departments. A state laboratory in Kentucky genetically matched Salmonella found in cantaloupes from a southern Indiana farm to cases of Salmonella infection in Kentucky. August 18, Walmart Stores, Inc. instructed outlet managers to pull cantaloupes grown in Indiana from its shelves, Bloomberg reported. Source: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/08/multistate-salmonella-outbreak-linked-to-cantaloupe-from-indiana/#.UDIrRaC6TlY

• At least some of the seven people arrested in a fatal shootout with Louisiana deputies have been linked to violent anarchists on the FBI’s domestic terrorism watch lists, a sheriff said. – Associated Press

37. August 18, Associated Press – (Louisiana) Suspects in deputy killings linked to extremists. At least some of the seven people arrested in a fatal shootout with Louisiana deputies have been linked to violent anarchists on the FBI’s domestic terrorism watch lists, a sheriff said August 18. Detectives had been monitoring the group before the August 16 shootout in Laplace in which two deputies were killed and two more wounded, said the DeSoto Parish sheriff. His detectives and other law enforcement discovered the suspects were heavily armed adherents to an ideology known as the “sovereign citizens” movement. The seven suspects have been charged in the shooting of a deputy, who survived. But authorities have said murder charges are pending. Arrested were the group’s apparent leader, his wife, and his two sons. Also arrested were the girlfriend of one of the sons, a man, and a woman living with him. The Gage County, Nebraska, Sheriff’s Office Web site listed one of the men among its most wanted fugitives, saying he is accused of making “terroristic threats” to patrons of a Nebraska bar and law enforcement officials. Source: http://news.yahoo.com/suspects-deputy-killings-linked-extremists-005244499.html

• Wildfires in California, Idaho, and Washington consumed dozens of square miles of public and private land, forced thousands of people to evacuate, destroyed many homes, and closed some roads. – Associated Press

49. August 20, Associated Press – (California; Idaho; Washington) Northern California blaze forces thousands to flee. Thousands of people were told to leave their homes as a wildfire burning August 19 in thick forest threatened rural communities in far northern California, the Associated Press reported August 20. The fire that sparked August 18 destroyed 4 homes and consumed nearly 19 square miles near the towns of Manton, Shingleton, and Viola, said a fire spokesman. About 3,500 homes spread out across a rural area along the border of Tehama and Shasta counties were threatened as the fire continued to expand, he said. Officials said the fire started after a series of lightning strikes. The Shasta County Sheriff’s Department declared a state of emergency, with evacuations expected to continue through August 19. The agency also closed some local roads. Another wildfire that started August 18 consumed about 1.5 square miles east of the Mendocino County community of Covelo. A third new fire scorched about half a square mile in a remote area of Shasta County. A wildfire in Lassen Volcanic National Park was 51 percent contained after consuming more than 43 square miles. Officials expected firefighters would have the blaze contained by August 21. In Idaho, about 1,100 firefighters worked to protect some 350 homes in the Featherville area under a mandatory evacuation as the Trinity Ridge Fire continued a slow approach toward the community. In Washington State, the Taylor Bridge fire burned across more than 23,000 acres in rural areas, but firefighters gained ground on the blaze that has scorched dozens of homes near Cle Elum, about 75 miles east of Seattle. In Utah, evacuation orders were lifted east of Park City as firefighters made progress on a wildfire near Jordanelle State Park. Source: http://www.news-leader.com/viewart/20120820/NEWS07/308200042/Northern-California-blaze-forces-thousands-to-flee


Banking and Finance Sector

12. August 18, Associated Press – (California) FBI seeks bandit linked to LA-area bank heists. The FBI is seeking a bank robber dubbed the “make it quick bandit” suspected of holding up banks inside grocery stores in the greater Los Angeles area, the Associated Press reported August 18. The FBI said the suspect has been linked to eight bank robberies since 2009 in the area south of Los Angeles. His modus operandi is to wander the aisles of the grocery store before holding up the bank teller. The robber advises the teller that people are waiting for him outside the store. The suspect’s most recent heist was a bank in Torrance, his second in 2012. He is also suspected in five holdups in 2011, and one in 2009. Source: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/18/4737351/fbi-seeks-bandit-linked-to-la.html

13. August 17, azfamily.com – (Arizona) ‘Color Me Bad Bandit’ wanted in 4 bank robberies. The FBI’s Bank Robbery Task Force is asking for the public’s help in identifying the “Color Me Bad Bandit,” who is suspected in the robberies of four credit unions in Mesa and Tempe, Arizona, azfamily.com reported August 17. Authorities said the female suspect has robbed four credit unions in July and August. During each incident, the suspect entered the credit union with a large bag and used a note to demand money and threaten employees. She then fled on foot. She consistently attempts to conceal her identity by wearing large scarves or hats and sunglasses. She has been dubbed the “Color Me Bad Bandit” due to her colorful disguises. Source: http://www.azfamily.com/news/Color-Me-Bad-Bandit-wanted-in-4-bank-robberies-166596996.html

14. August 17, CNNMoney – (International) SEC shuts down alleged $600 million Ponzi scheme. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced fraud charges August 17 against a company they said was operating a $600 million Internet Ponzi scheme “on the verge of collapse.” The SEC accused ZeekRewards.com, its parent company, Rex Venture Group, and Rex Venture’s leader of luring more than 1 million investors worldwide into the scheme, which began in early 2011. ZeekRewards is a companion to the penny auction site Zeekler.com. Visitors to the ZeekRewards site were told that by paying subscription fees and becoming “affiliates,” they could share in the company’s profits. In fact, the SEC said, the payouts the firm made came from the funds of new investors. The SEC said it froze the roughly $225 million in investor funds that remain in the company’s bank accounts. So far, the agency said, ZeekRewards has paid out some $375 million to investors, while the company’s leader allegedly siphoned off millions for himself in the process. He agreed to settle the SEC case without admitting or denying wrongdoing, paying a $4 million penalty and forfeiting his stake in the firm, though he could still face further charges from subsequent criminal investigations. Source: http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/17/technology/zeek-rewards-ponzi-scheme/index.html

Information Technology Sector

39. August 20, SecurityWeek – (International) AMD’s blog defaced and breached. The weekend of August 18, a group known as R00tbeer targeted chipmaker AMD’s WordPress installation and managed to deface the domain as well as steal the SQL file used to manage the content management system. In addition to the defacement, the group published an SQL file with 185 accounts, complete with username, hashed password, and email. One of the accounts appeared to belong to AMD’s technology group’s general manager. Source: http://www.securityweek.com/amd%E2%80%99s-blog-defaced-and-breached

40. August 17, InformationWeek – (International) Security researcher uncovers Apple iOS SMS bug. An Apple iOS security researcher discovered a vulnerability in Apple’s iOS platform. The bug is present in all versions of iOS up to and including iOS 6 beta 4. The bug allows hackers to spoof the reply-to number in a text message, which could allow them to send phishing messages via SMS. In one case, a person could receive a message that would appear to come from their bank, requesting information or sending them to a Web site. The researcher also explained that hackers could send spoofed messages to a user’s device that would appear to have come from the user themselves. This could allow hackers to plant false evidence on someone’s iPhone. Source: http://www.informationweek.com/security/mobile/security-researcher-uncovers-apple-ios-s/240005758

41. August 17, SecurityWeek – (International) Microsoft releases update that forces minimum certificate key length of 1024 bits. August 14, Microsoft announced the availability of an update to Windows that restricts the use of any certificates with RSA keys less than 1,024 bits in length, SecurityWeek reported August 17. The reason for the change, Microsoft explained, is because weak certificates with keys less than 1,024 bits in length can be derived with few resources relatively quickly and could allow an attacker to duplicate the certificates and use them fraudulently to spoof content, perform phishing attacks, or perform man-in-the-middle attacks. Source: http://www.securityweek.com/microsoft-releases-update-forces-minimum-certificate-key-length-1024-bits

Communications Sector

See item 40 above in the Information Technology Sector