DHS Bulletin: Anonymous/LulzSec Has Continued Success Using Rudimentary Hacking Methods

This Bulletin is being provided for your Executive Leadership, Operational Management, and Security Administrators situational awareness. The actors who make up the hacker group “Anonymous” and several likely related offshoots like “LulzSec”, continue to harass public and private sector entities with rudimentary exploits and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) commonly associated with less skilled hackers referred to as “Script Kiddies”. Members of Anonymous routinely claim to have an overt political agenda and have justified at least a portion of their exploits as retaliation for perceived ‘social injustices’ and ‘freedom of speech’ issues. Attacks by associated groups such as LulzSec have essentially been executed entirely for their and their associates’ personal amusement, or in their own hacker jargon “for the lulz”.

(U//FOUO) DHS Red Cell Report: How Terrorists Might Infect U.S. Poultry With Bird Flu

This report explores how terrorists or other non-state adversaries could potentially facilitate an avian influenza outbreak within the United States. The report was primarily intended to assist the Secretary of Homeland Security, Chief Intelligence Officer, Deputy Assistant Secretary, and Chief Medical Officer as they consider the implications of avian influenza to the Homeland. The scenarios explored in this paper are speculative and meant only to broaden the scope of thinking. They are not based on specific evidence or intelligence about terrorists’ plans and capabilities, but are considered scientifically feasible, according to experts that were interviewed.

(U//LES) FBI Bloods Street Gang Communicating Through Playstation Network (PSN)

FBI New York case information indicates that Bloods gang members in the Bronx, NY are utilizing PlayStation Network (PSN) to communicate each other while on house arrest. Identified Bloods will post their “PSN tag name”, a self-generated ID used to identify individual users, on social networking web-sites and invite others to connect with them using their PlayStation 3 gaming system. These individuals have been observed sharing “tag names” with each other and discussing intentions to communicate through PSN.

(U//FOUO) DHS Utility-Sector Employee Insider Threats Warning

Insiders often possess detailed operational and system-security knowledge, as well as authorized physical and systems access to utilities. Insiders can be employees, contractors, service providers, or anyone with legitimate access to utility systems. They often are self-motivated, know system security measures, and raise no alarms due to their authorized systems access. With knowledge of and access to a utility’s network, malicious actors could seize control of utility systems or corrupt information sent to plant operators, causing damage to plant systems and equipment. Systems and networks used by utilities are potential targets for a variety of malicious cyber actors. Threat actors who target these systems may be intent on damaging equipment and facilities, disrupting services, stealing proprietary information, or other malicious activities. The greater the individual’s knowledge and authorized systems access, the greater risk the individual poses. Furthermore, any individual with access to a plant’s systems could unwittingly or inadvertently introduce malware into a system through portable media or by falling victim to socially engineered e-mails.

White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime July 2011

Transnational organized crime refers to those self-perpetuating associations of individuals who operate transnationally for the purpose of obtaining power, influence, monetary and/or commercial gains, wholly or in part by illegal means, while protecting their activities through a pattern of corruption and/or violence, or while protecting their illegal activities through a transnational organizational structure and the exploitation of transnational commerce or communication mechanisms. There is no single structure under which transnational organized criminals operate; they vary from hierarchies to clans, networks, and cells, and may evolve to other structures.

GAO Federal Reserve $16 Trillion Emergency Bailout Loans Audit Report

On numerous occasions in 2008 and 2009, the Federal Reserve Board invoked emergency authority under the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 to authorize new broad-based programs and financial assistance to individual institutions to stabilize financial markets. Loans outstanding for the emergency programs peaked at more than $1 trillion in late 2008. The Federal Reserve Board directed the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) to implement most of these emergency actions. In a few cases, the Federal Reserve Board authorized a Reserve Bank to lend to a limited liability corporation (LLC) to finance the purchase of assets from a single institution. In 2009 and 2010, FRBNY also executed large-scale purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities to support the housing market. The table below provides an overview of all emergency actions covered by this report. The Reserve Banks’ and LLCs’ financial statements, which include the emergency programs’ accounts and activities, and their related financial reporting internal controls, are audited annually by an independent auditing firm. These independent financial statement audits, as well as other audits and reviews conducted by the Federal Reserve Board, its Inspector General, and the Reserve Banks’ internal audit function, did not report any significant accounting or financial reporting internal control issues concerning the emergency programs.

(U//FOUO) DHS U.S. Lodging Industry Protective Measures Guide

Preventing terrorism, enhancing security, and ensuring resilience to disasters are core missions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Accomplishing these missions necessitates building and fostering a collaborative environment in which the private sector and Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments can better protect critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR). The U.S. Lodging Industry is designated as CIKR because it is essential to the Nation’s economic vitality and way of life. It is critical to the Department’s vision of ensuring a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards. As such, DHS developed the Protective Measures Guide for the U.S. Lodging Industry in collaboration with the American Hotel & Lodging Association to provide options for hotels to consider when implementing protective measures. The guide provides an overview of threat, vulnerability, and protective measures designed to assist hotel owners and operators in planning and managing security at their facilities. It provides suggestions for successful planning, organizing, coordinating, communicating, operating, and training activities that contribute to a safe environment for guests and employees. In addition, when contemplating appropriate protective measures to implement, owners and operators should consider their own knowledge of the property‘s operations and vulnerabilities, as well as the general surroundings and its place within the community. When implementing appropriate protective measures, owners and operators should make use of additional resources, from local law enforcement and emergency management agencies to the security resources listed in the appendices of this guide.

(U//FOUO) New York Office of Homeland Security “Crime-Terror Nexus” Report

As authorities have clamped down on traditional financing pipelines, such as charitable front groups, and as terrorist networks have grown increasingly decentralized, terrorists have turned to criminal activities to finance their operations locally. Throughout the world, Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah operatives have involved themselves in an array of criminal enterprises, including counterfeiting, drug dealing, cigarette smuggling, credit card fraud, auto theft, kidnapping, extortion, and artifact trafficking. Although criminality is outlawed under Islamic law, the Al Qaeda manual advises that “necessity permits the forbidden.” Reflecting this theory, when Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) operatives questioned whether hacking into foreigners’ bank accounts was acceptable in Islam, JI leader Abu Bakr Bashir reportedly responded, “[if] you can take their blood; then why not take their property?” “Terrorist groups are particularly interested in raising funds through crime because as Lieutenant Colonel David LaRivee, Associate Professor of Economics at the United States Air Force Academy, stated, “many of the agencies responsible for enforcement in these areas do not traditionally focus on counterterrorism nor do they have strong ties with counterterrorist agencies. This means that many indictable criminal activities that support terrorism are overlooked because they seem insignificant when evaluated locally, but are in fact very significant when considered from a broader perspective.” In order to disrupt these financing efforts, “local law enforcement officials will be key,” as the FBI assessed in a May 25, 2005 Intelligence Bulletin.

UN Confidential Government of Sudan Security Forces in Darfur Report November 2005

The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) is a conventional armed force with a mandate to protect and to maintain internal security. It carries out its mandate mainly through ground forces, including Popular Defence Force (PDF) militia, as well as an air force and navy. The Supreme Commander of the armed forces, Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad el-Bashir, holds both the posts of National President and Commander-In Chief of the Armed Forces and People’s Defence Forces (PDF). For operational purposes he exercises this power through the Minister of Defence (currently major-general Bakri Hassan Saleh). The Minister appoints a Commander of the Armed Forces and Chief of General Staff (currently, general Abbas Arabi) who, together with five Deputy Chiefs of Staff (Operations, Intelligence, Logistics, Administration, Training and Morale), form the Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or Command Group. The air force and navy are individual services under the commander-in-chief.

USAID Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Provincial Media Landscape and Audience Survey Reports

A large-scale research project was thus planned and conducted from March to August 2010. This research included a deep probe into the media sector and the public’s behaviors and expectations. The methodology used to achieved this included a combination of: literature review; direct observations; key informant interviews with most relevant actors involved in the media sector; 6,648 close-ended interviews in more than 900 towns and villages of 106 districts, covering all 34 provinces of the country; an audience survey on more than 1,500 individuals run daily for a week; about 200 qualitative, openended interviews; and 10 community case studies. Such an effort guarantees that results presented here are fairly representative of the Afghan population at large.

UNODC World Drug Report 2011

Globally, UNODC estimates that, in 2009, between 149 and 272 million people, or 3.3% to 6.1% of the population aged 15-64, used illicit substances at least once in the previous year. About half that number are estimated to have been current drug users, that is, having used illicit drugs at least once during the past month prior to the date of assessment. While the total number of illicit drug users has increased since the late 1990s, the prevalence rates have remained largely stable, as has the number of problem drug users, which is estimated at between 15 and 39 million.

(U//FOUO) Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center Hotels/Lodging Industry Warning

As Al-Qa‘ida and other terrorist groups continue to seek innovative ways to conduct attacks and circumvent security procedures, there is concern that the holiday season provides attractive opportunities for terrorists to target the Homeland. This bulletin focuses on lodging facilities that serve large numbers of business and leisure travelers and provide venues for a variety of holiday events.