General Dynamics Wins $867 Million DHS IT Contract

The General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded General Dynamics a seven-year, $867 million contract to develop IT infrastructure for a consolidated Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters. The award was previously given to Northrop Grumman but revoked after a protest by competitive contractors. The GSA is handling the Alliant government-wide acquisition contract for the new DHS headquarters at the St. Elizabeth campus in southeast Washington, which will unite, in one central location, 22 department agencies that currently span 35 offices. The agency’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center awarded the contract to General Dynamics, which will work with the DHS to create a green, energy-efficient IT infrastructure for the campus, according to the GSA.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, the Bureau) is the lead federal law enforcement agency charged with counterterrorism investigations. Since the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks, the FBI has implemented a series of reforms intended to transform itself from a largely reactive law enforcement agency focused on investigations of criminal activity into a more proactive, agile, flexible, and intelligence-driven agency that can prevent acts of terrorism.

(U//FOUO) Michigan Fusion Center Restaurant Inspection Scam Warning

Restaurants in multiple states, including Michigan, are reporting phone calls from individuals claiming to be from the Health Department. Throughout Michigan, the scammers are requesting to schedule an inspection at the food establishment, as well as sensitive information about the business. According to the Better Business Bureau, this was a widespread occurrence in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2010.

Open Source Center Blackwater Personnel Staying in Abbottabad Guesthouses January 2010

Mysterious guesthouses have been established in Abottabad’s famous residential area. It has been revealed that Blackwater officials are living there. Important persons regularly visit these guesthouses, and there are fears that the peace and stability in Abottabad may be affected. According to the details received, there are many guesthouses in Abottabad where immoral activities take place at night and meetings in the name of NGOs are arranged during the day. As soon as the night falls, suspicious persons start coming to these guesthouses.

UK Teachers Asked to Report Students At Risk for Violent Extremism

An alert has been sounded over the past three years that more than 1,100 schoolchildren and young adults are at risk of being drawn into violent extremism. Setting out the Government’s new strategy for combating radicalisation, the Home Secretary Theresa May promised a drive against the spread of hardline ideologies in universities, prisons and community groups as well as fresh measures to control their dissemination online. Under the revised “Prevent” strategy, organisations applying for public funds will have to prove they espouse “mainstream British values” before they receive taxpayers’ money. About 1,120 people had been referred to a Home Office programme launched in 2007 under which teachers and community leaders are encouraged to identify potential terrorists. Nearly 300 of those referred to police were aged under 16 – 55 were 11 or younger.

Human Terrain System Report: Local Governance in Rural Afghanistan

This paper is designed to act as a guide for working with local communities in rural Afghanistan at the wuluswali (district) level, primarily in the east and south. Afghan society has always been extremely diverse from district to district, requiring a flexible, multi-faceted approach to governance. This multi-faceted approach blended tribes, Islam and the state. The political upheaval of the past 40 years has disrupted Afghan society and the traditional structures which historically provided governance and social order, not just the Kabul-based government. It is important that the information in this guide is not seen as absolute or universally applicable, but rather as a baseline guide for understanding the complexities of local governance, or the lack thereof, in rural Afghanistan. There is no standard formula for success in Afghanistan due to its diversity; the only constant is the need for flexibility.

Florida Fuel Pump Credit Card Skimmer Warning

On December 16, 2010, at approximately 1736 hours, the Melbourne Police Department responded to reports of fraud at the RaceTrac gas station located at 4641 W Eau Gallie Blvd, in Melbourne (MP10-83795). An investigation revealed there was a credit card skimmer installed inside one of the fuel pumps that had been attached with Velcro. Victims began reporting fraudulent charges on their credit card accounts on December 14, 2010 and there have been fourteen (14) reports to date that are believed to be linked with this trend. At this time, it is unknown as to how long the skimmer had been inside the pump. It is estimated that over 600+ credit card numbers have been compromised. The stolen credit card numbers have been used multiple times at bank ATM’s in New York City, most frequently at the Actors Federal Credit Union.

One in Four Hackers in the U.S. is an FBI Informant

The underground world of computer hackers has been so thoroughly infiltrated in the US by the FBI and secret service that it is now riddled with paranoia and mistrust, with an estimated one in four hackers secretly informing on their peers, a Guardian investigation has established. Cyber policing units have had such success in forcing online criminals to co-operate with their investigations through the threat of long prison sentences that they have managed to create an army of informants deep inside the hacking community. In some cases, popular illegal forums used by cyber criminals as marketplaces for stolen identities and credit card numbers have been run by hacker turncoats acting as FBI moles. In others, undercover FBI agents posing as “carders” – hackers specialising in ID theft – have themselves taken over the management of crime forums, using the intelligence gathered to put dozens of people behind bars.

(U//FOUO) US-CERT Advisory Increased Threats to Authentication Services

Authentication establishes the trusted relationship between the user and a system or service and validates their identities to each other. Organizations rely on authentication services to protect important data by limiting access to trusted users. Malicious actors are increasingly interested in exploiting authentication services because organizations rely on them to ensure system integrity and limit access to sensitive data by trusted users. US-CERT is providing this advisory to warn organizations about increased threats and interest in authentication services and provide recommended best practices to strengthen system integrity.

WikiLeaks Cable Discusses North American Integration Strategy

The integration of North America’s economies would best be achieved through an “incremental” approach, according to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable. The cable, released through the WikiLeaks website and apparently written Jan. 28, 2005, discusses some of the obstacles surrounding the merger of the economies of Canada, the United States and Mexico in a fashion similar to the European Union. “An incremental and pragmatic package of tasks for a new North American Initiative (NAI) will likely gain the most support among Canadian policymakers,” the document said. “The economic payoff of the prospective North American initiative … is available, but its size and timing are unpredictable, so it should not be oversold.”

(U//FOUO) Colorado Information Analysis Center Chemical Sector Threat Report

The Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) has no current information indicating an imminent threat to Colorado chemical sector critical infrastructure. However, both within the United States and abroad, recent attempts to perpetrate attacks utilizing the Postal and Shipping and Transportation Sectors has created a need for heightened awareness. The CIAC has produced this assessment to provide situational awareness on the current critical infrastructure threat environment, sector incidents and trends, as well as pertinent updates. Information contained in this report originates from CIAC cases, unclassified local, state, and federal databases, and open source reporting.

Goldman Sachs Subpoenaed Over Role in Financial Crisis

The bad news just keeps on coming for Goldman Sachs. The Wall Street investment bank has received a subpoena from the office of the Manhattan district attorney, which is investigating Goldman’s role in the financial crisis, said one person familiar with the subpoena. It comes amid increased enforcement scrutiny of the company, which has faced blistering criticism that it shorted — or bet against — the mortgage market before it collapsed and that it knowingly sold bundles of bad mortgages to its clients. Goldman denies these accusations.

Senate Report: Wall Street and the Anatomy of Financial Collapse

This Report is the product of a two-year bipartisan investigation by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations into the origins of the 2008 financial crisis. The goals of this investigation were to construct a public record of the facts in order to deepen the understanding of what happened; identify some of the root causes of the crisis; and provide a factual foundation for the ongoing effort to fortify the country against the recurrence of a similar crisis in the future.

Media Perpetuates Myths About “Virus Attack” on Inspire Magazine

A recent article by the Washington Post is helping to spread the mistaken belief that Inspire magazine’s first issue was attacked by a virus which corrupted most of its content. The article states that while U.S. sources debated how to sabotage or otherwise “attack” the publication of the magazine, which is said to be produced by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a group of British “cyber warriors” took action. The article states that “when Inspire launched on June 30, the magazine’s cover may have promised an ‘exclusive interview’ with Sheik Abu Basir al-Wahishi, a former aide to Osama bin Laden, and instructions on how to ‘Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.’ But pages 4 through 67 of the otherwise slick magazine, including the bomb-making instructions, were garbled as a result of the British cyber-attack.” The article also states that it took almost two weeks for a corrected and complete version of the magazine to emerge.

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Unsubstantiated “Electronic Jihad” Warning November 2007

According to Debkafile, an Israeli electronic news website, a group claiming to be al-Qa‘ida has declared 11 November 2007 as the first day of a campaign of “electronic jihad” on the Internet. According to Debkafile, unspecified “al-Qa‘ida electronic experts” allegedly would begin attacking “Western, Jewish, Israeli, Muslim apostate and Shiite Web sites on that date with many more jihadist hackers joining in the attacks later [sic].” DHS and the FBI have no specific or credible information corroborating these cyber attack claims, or intelligence indicating this group is tied to al-Qa‘ida.

DoD Develops Classified List of “Cyber Weapons”

The Pentagon has developed a list of cyber-weapons and -tools, including viruses that can sabotage an adversary’s critical networks, to streamline how the United States engages in computer warfare. The classified list of capabilities has been in use for several months and has been approved by other agencies, including the CIA, said military officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a sensitive program. The list forms part of the Pentagon’s set of approved weapons or “fires” that can be employed against an enemy. “So whether it’s a tank, an M-16 or a computer virus, it’s going to follow the same rules so that we can understand how to employ it, when you can use it, when you can’t, what you can and can’t use,” a senior military official said.

We Are Not Henry Kissinger, But Thank You for Sending Us His Mail

One of the more interesting aspects of running a website like this is that you receive a lot of highly unusual email. Everything from the occasional death threat to advertisements for Kuwaiti GPS tracking systems, all mixed with the incoherent ramblings of people with advanced schizophrenic disorders. That’s okay. That’s what you expect. However, a recent trend has emerged that is basically incomprehensible to us. People send us email thinking we are all kinds of people, places, and organizations that we are not.

NATO Airstrike Kills 14 Women and Children in Afghanistan

Afghan officials said Sunday that a NATO airstrike had killed 14 civilians, most of them women and children, in the southern province of Helmand on Saturday night. Local officials said the strike was aimed at Taliban fighters and missed, hitting two family homes. But in a conflicting account, a high-level NATO official said Sunday night that nine civilians were killed in the strike, which was aimed at five insurgents who attacked a coalition foot patrol and killed a Marine. The insurgents continued to fire from inside a compound when NATO forces called in the strike. “Unfortunately, the compound the insurgents purposefully occupied was later discovered to house innocent civilians,” the official, Maj. Gen. John Toolan, commander of NATO forces in the Southwest region, said in a statement. The general apologized for the civilian deaths on behalf of all coalition forces, including Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top coalition commander in Afghanistan, and said the investigation into the episode was continuing.