National Infrastructure Protection Center
NIPC Daily Open Source Report
for 20 August 2002

Daily Assessment/Overview

       The increasing availability of commercial, off-the shelf technology to
terrorist groups and enemy states is creating new challenges for the U.S.
military.  (See item 18)

       After Sept. 11, companies of all sizes have seen their insurance premiums for
everything from workers' comp to general liability insurance rise while the
coverage their policies provide has decreased.  (See item 4)

       US Dept of Energy ordered Cross Sound Cable to temporarily operate its
underwater power transmission cable connecting New York and Connecticut.
Activation of the 330-MW cable will alleviate the emergency supply situation
caused by the area's recent heat wave.  (See item 3)

NIPC Daily Report Fast Jump [click to jump to section of interest]
Power   Banking & Finance       Transportation
Gas & Oil       Telecommunications      Food
Water   Chemical        Emergency Law Enforcement
Government Operations   Information Technology  Cyber Threats and Vulnerabilities
Internet Alert Dashboard        General NIPC Information

Power Sector

Current Electricity Sector Threat Alert Levels:  Physical: LOW, Cyber: LOW
Scale: NORMAL, LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH  [Source: ISAC for the Electricity Sector
(ES-ISAC) -]

1.      August 15, The Straits Times  Computer glitch behind worst blackout in
decade.  A computer glitch caused the blackout that paralyzed parts of Singapore
for 90 minutes last Monday, said power regulator Energy Market Authority
yesterday.  It is not clear what went wrong in Indonesian natural-gas supplier
West Natuna's computer system during a routine check on Aug 5, but this
malfunction prompted an emergency valve to close, cutting off the flow of the
gas to one of  two Singapore providers of the fuel, SembCorp Gas.  The lack of
gas tripped seven power plants.  As a result, there was an 8 per cent shortfall
in the amount of electricity needed.  Source:,1870,137582,00.html?

2.      August 16, Reuters  US power spending cuts may mean tight supply later.
U.S. power producers, struggling to shore up balance sheets amid increased
investor scrutiny, have scaled back plans for new generating plants, a move
industry analysts warn could tighten electric supplies later in the decade.
While shortages are not expected any time soon, analysts noted concerns about
liquidity and questionable accounting practices after the collapse of Enron
Corp. have forced power producers to cancel or delay some 80,000 megawatts (MW)
of new generation.  "My guess is that we'll have enough power supply for the
next 3 or 4 years, then if nobody commits, things will get tighter," said Del
Williamson, president global sales at General Electric Co.'s GE Power Systems.

3.      August 16, Platts Global Energy  US Dept of Energy orders operation of Cross
Sound Cable.  US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham Friday issued an emergency
order, at the request of the Long Island Power Authority, directing Cross-Sound
Cable (CSC) to temporarily operate its underwater power transmission cable
connecting New York and Connecticut.  Activation of the 330-MW cable will
alleviate the emergency supply situation caused by the area's recent heat wave.
The order, which expires Oct 1, said the cable should be operated as a last
resort after implementing demand-reduction and conservation measures. DOE said
the order does not remove CSC's obligations to comply with necessary permits,
after the order's expiration.  Source:

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Banking and Finance Sector

4.      August 18, Boston Globe  Terrorism alters landscape of insurance.  The
insurance industry's fears of another Sept. 11 have greatly affected not just
real estate transactions but normal business activities as well.  Companies of
all sizes have seen their premiums for everything from workers' comp to general
liability insurance rise while the coverage their policies provide shrinks.  The
problem is especially acute in New York.  According to the Insurance Information
Institute, a nonprofit research firm, ''The Sept. 11 attack produced
catastrophic losses in lines of insurance that had never before experienced
catastrophes.''  These new lines included, most notably, workers' compensation,
particularly reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages related to
injuries or disasters on the job.  Source:

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Transportation Sector

5.      August 19, Associated Press  Waterfront highway in Seattle in need of major
overhaul.  The Alaskan Way Viaduct, which carries traffic above Seattle's
waterfront, is falling apart, and one strong earthquake could take down the
aging roadway and the crumbling sea wall that supports it.  The 49-year-old
Alaskan Way Viaduct has long been a concern.  It carries 110,000 vehicles a day,
nearly twice what it was designed to carry.  And after a 6.8-magnitude
earthquake in February 2001, the matter became more urgent.  Engineers found
extensive damage in both the viaduct and the 68-year-old seawall, which supports
the viaduct and the waterfront.  They estimate the viaduct has a 1-in-20 chance
of failing within the next 10 years.  Source:

6.      August 18, Associated Press  Airports wary of baggage deadline.  Managers at
some major airports believe big travel problems could lie ahead come the Dec. 31
deadline to begin inspecting every piece of checked luggage for explosives.
They also are raising questions about whether the bomb-screening equipment is
sophisticated enough and in adequate supply.  The prospect of long lines and
finding space for the minivan-sized machines in already cramped airports have
led Congress to consider delaying the screening requirement by a year.  Source:

7.      August 18, New York Times  Two railroads, one company and a need for money.
Until the last few days, the consensus on Amtrak was that it was two railroads:
a long-distance system doomed to carry tourists at a loss, and a bustling
Northeast Corridor line that could meet its costs, or even make a profit,
competing with the airlines for business travelers.  But that impression was
always a myth, the experts say, and last week showed how badly both Amtraks are
in trouble.  But the Northeast Corridor  the tracks between Washington and
Boston  needs money, too.  Many of its trains meet their operating costs, but
Congress also gave Amtrak the tracks, and they need $5 billion to $12 billion
worth of improvement.  Kenneth Mead, the inspector general of the Transportation
Department, testified recently that all trains on the corridor, even the Acela
Express trains that were sidelined last week will have to start slowing down if
investments are not made soon.  The timing of the Acela problem is bad because
Amtrak will be broke again on Oct. 1, the beginning of the fiscal year, unless
Congress passes a new appropriation.  Source:

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Gas and Oil Sector

8.      August 19, Dow Jones Newswires  OPEC cuts 02 oil demand growth forecast by
46.7%.  OPEC is now forecasting that oil consumption will rise by 0.16 million
barrels a day in 2002 to 76.16 million b/d. This latest figure translates into a
downward revision of 0.14 million b/d, from the group's previous growth
estimate.  OPEC says oil demand for the first half of 2002 was weaker than
projected in its previous oil market report.  Although OPEC expects some
recovery for oil demand in the second half of 2002, it says that this will be
"compounded" by forecasts for a downward revision in economic growth, especially
in the U.S.  Source:,,BT_CO_20020819_001171,00.html

9.      August 19, Dow Jones Newswires  Russia to take part in developing four
Kuwaiti oil fields.  Russian firms will participate in developing Kuwait's oil
fields, the nation's energy minister said Monday as a bilateral commission
opened discussions on expanding economic and technical co-operation. In addition
to the oil and gas sectors, it said, Russian firms are interested in working in
the areas of construction, irrigation, agriculture and infrastructure
development. They are also in a good position to increase shipments of energy
equipment, rolled metal and other metal products, timber, trucks, and equipment
for the oil and gas industries, it said.  Source:,,BT_CO_20020819_000846,00.html

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Telecommunications Sector

10.     August 19, Federal Computer Week  The Navy Marine Corps Intranet has
reached another critical milestone, with the Pentagon giving the Navy the
go-ahead to connect about 40,000 users working on the Defense Department's
classified network.  "It absolutely is a significant milestone," said Capt.
Chris Christopher, NMCI's deputy director of plans, policy and oversight.  "We
have a whole bunch of classified seats that we have to be able to roll out,"
which would have been impossible without getting this authority.  In a
memorandum from the Joint Staff, dated July 16, NMCI was granted a six-month
"interim authority to operate," giving NMCI the authority to connect to DOD's
Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, called SIPRNET.  Source:

11.     August 19, VNUNET  Feds tell companies to check network security.  The FBI
is warning against the popular practice of using chalk marks to show the
location of wireless networks.  The marks, or 'warchalks', are cropping up in
cities and suburbs across the world.  The FBI has told companies that, if they
see the marks outside their offices, they should check the security of wireless
networks and ensure that they remain closed to outsiders.  "If you notice these
symbols at your place of business, it is likely that your network has been
identified publicly," said the agency.  Although the warning is not an official
advisory, the agent responsible for it said that it was information worth
passing on.  Source:

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Food Sector

Nothing to report.

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Water Sector

12.     August 16, The Patriot News  Pennsylvania may let German conglomerate buy
state's largest water company.  The state Public Utility Commission has
tentative plans at its Aug. 29 meeting to consider approval of the acquisition
of Pennsylvania-American Water Co., the state's largest water company, by a
German utility and mining conglomerate.  Administrative Law Judge Wayne L.
Weismandel has recommended approval of the acquisition, rejecting many, but not
all, of the consumer and environmental protections sought by state Consumer
Advocate Irwin Popowsky and Penn Future Director John Hanger.  RWE AG of Essen,
Germany, announced last September that it was acquiring American Water Works,
the parent of Pennsylvania-American Water Co., in a $7.6 billion deal that would
create one of the largest water companies in the world.  Source:;

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Chemical Sector

13.     August 19, Platts Global Energy  Spolana decontamination could cost
$94.6-mil. Decontamination of two polluted Spolana chemical plant buildings and
a nearby warehouse is expected to cost between $78.8 to $94.6-mil, a spokesman
for the Czech National Property Fund (FNM) told Platts Monday.  The Czech
government plans to announce a tender for clean-up of the plant buildings later
this month.  Floods last week engulfed Spolana's polyvinyl chloride plant, but
Unipetrol spokesman Tomas Zikmund said it is still too early to determine the
extent of the damage.  Zikmund said firefighters and specialists from Spolana
and other workers are examing possible damage to five storage tanks.  The tanks
reportedly contained 140mt of chlorine which, after a pipe was ruptured, started
to leak into a Spolana building.  Source:

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Emergency Law Enforcement Sector

14.     August 19, Associated Press  NYC police, fire depts. vow changes.  Police
and fire officials pledged Monday to improve command procedures and
communications as they released two reports examining emergency response in the
wake of the World Trade Center attack.  The roughly 100-page fire department
document also recommends that the department bolster its single hazardous
materials unit with new staff and equipment, allowing the FDNY to better respond
to potential chemical, biological or radiological attacks.  Source:

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Government Operations Sector

15.     August 19, US News & World Report  The dirty half dozen.  Based on new
intelligence assessments of al Qaeda's organizational structure, the Pentagon
believes that there are six or seven men responsible for the network's major
operations and that these half dozen are the most likely to mastermind future
attacks against the United States.  "When you go down the list of the major
attacks around the world, you always come back to these guys," says one Pentagon
official.  These "middle managers," as Pentagon brass call them, are the biggest
remaining threat in an organization that has been hammered hard since the war on
terrorism began.  Not only do they have potential to rise to leadership
positions in al Qaeda,"  Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers tells
U.S. News, "but their involvement is such that they are key guys to big
operations."  Source:

16.     August 19, New York Times  Bush calls security meeting at ranch.  President
Bush will meet at his ranch here on Wednesday with top national security
advisers, including Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H.
Rumsfeld, in what is likely to include a discussion of a potential United States
campaign to topple Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, administration officials
said today.  Source:

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Information Technology Sector

17.     August 15, ComputerWorld  Several major airlines and the Federal Aviation
Administration are turning to the Internet, with all of its inherent security
vulnerabilities, to improve antiterror information sharing and the safety of
flight operations.  In the wake of last year's terrorist hijackings and the near
success of the shoe-bomb plot on an American Airlines flight on Dec. 22,
American and other airlines have turned to the Internet as a way to keep pilots
informed of critical federal security warnings in a more timely manner.  In
addition, the FAA in recent weeks has established a public Web site that
commercial and general aviation pilots can use to download visual-range data for
most of the nation's major airports.  Visual-range data is used to plan
alternate landing routes in the event of bad weather.  Source:,4814,73508,00.html

18.     August 16, National Journal's Technology Daily  The increasing availability
of commercial, off-the shelf technology to terrorist groups and enemy states is
creating new challenges for the U.S. military, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
said Thursday in his annual report to the president and Congress.  "Maintaining
the U.S. technological edge has become even more difficult as advanced
technology has become readily available on the world market," Rumsfeld wrote
"Technologies for sensors, information processing, communications, precision
guidance, and many other areas are rapidly advancing and are available to
potential adversaries."  Rumsfeld said some adversaries are using those
high-tech tools to develop "offensive information operations" that could disrupt
military information systems, such as those that enable U.S. troops to engage in
"network-centric" warfare with other combat units and foreign allies.  Source:

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Cyber Threats and Vulnerabilities

19.     August 19, Associated Press  The number of FBI agents working in Oregon
will grow significantly in the coming months to staff expanded cyber-crimes,
counterintelligence and counterterrorism squads.  Portland is one of only 20 FBI
field offices nationwide that will create a squad of agents and support staff
whose main mission will be to investigate cyber-crimes, said Charlie Mathews,
the special agent who heads FBI operations in Oregon.  The cybersquad will
investigate everything from Internet fraud and online child pornography to
terrorists and rogue computer hackers.  The directive to create the teams is
part of a restructuring of the Justice Department, which includes the FBI.

Internet Alert Dashboard
Current Alert Levels
 Internet Security Systems AlertCon: 1 out of 4     Security
Focus ThreatCon: 1 out of
Last Changed 7 August 2002      Last Changed 5 August 2002
Current Virus and Port Attacks
Virus:  #1 Virus in USA: WORM_KLEZ.HSource:, Trend World Micro Virus Tracking Center
[Infected Computers, North America, Past 24 hours, #1 in United States]
Top 10 Target Ports     80(http); 1433(ms-sql-s); 21(ftp); 139(netbios-ssn); 39213;
43981; 25(smtp); 111(sunrpc); 22(ssh); 53(domain);Source:; Internet Storm Center

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General Information

20.     August 19, New York Times  Al Qaeda videos seem to show chemical tests.  A
vast cache of videotapes from Afghanistan provides the clearest evidence yet to
corroborate United States government charges that Al Qaeda developed and tested
chemical agents, according to experts who have seen some of them.  Last night,
CNN began broadcasting portions of tapes it obtained, one of which shows what
appears to be the agonizing death of three dogs exposed to a chemical agent,
apparently before Sept. 11.  The archive includes instruction tapes on
bomb-making and on how to shoot surface-to-air weapons, as well as the first
meeting of Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders with foreign journalists
in May 1998, and other tapes  often violent  contributed by affiliated groups
in Bosnia, Chechnya, Somalia, Sudan and elsewhere.  Source:

21.     August 19, Washington Post  Cruise missile threat grows, Rumsfeld says.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has sent the White House a classified memo
warning of the spread of cruise missiles among hostile nations and urging an
intensified government-wide effort to defend against them.  The memo, delivered
last month, reflects heightened concern by Rumsfeld and senior aides about the
ready availability around the world of cruise missile technology and the
continued vulnerability of U.S. troops and population centers to attack by the
low-flying, hard-to-detect weapons, according to officials familiar with the
memo.  Capable in some cases of taking off from ships close to shore and
maneuvering below radar scanners or behind terrain, cruise missiles present a
particular worry as potential platforms for delivering nuclear, biological or
chemical warheads.  Source:

22.     August 18, BBC News  Anthrax killer is US defense insider.  Professor Don
Foster - who helped convict Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and unveiled Joe Klein as
the author of the novel Primary Colors - says the evidence points to someone
with high-ranking military and intelligence connections.  Speaking about the
investigation for the first time, Prof. Foster told the BBC he had identified
two suspects who had both worked for the CIA, the US Army Medical Research
Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) and other classified military
operations.  Controversally, Prof Foster says the killer is likely to be highly
patriotic individual who wanted to demonstrate that the US was badly prepared
for an act of biological terrorism.  Source:

23.     August 19, New York Times  Israel begins vaccinating health workers for
smallpox.  With concerns mounting that an American attack on Iraq could provoke
some form of retaliatory strike against Israel, the Health Ministry has begun
vaccinating about 1,500 health workers against smallpox, a spokesman said today.
The spokesman, Ido Hadari, stressed that the vaccinations were a preliminary
measure, involving those who, if Israel decided on broader measures, would be
charged with administering the vaccine to others.  He said the security cabinet
would meet on Wednesday to discuss whether to extend the vaccinations to "first
responders": police officers, soldiers, emergency medical personnel and hospital
workers who would be involved in an immediate response to a biological attack.
These could number as many as 150,000.  Source:

24.     August 19, Washington Post  Suicide bombers change Mideast's military
balance.  The suicide bomber has become the Palestinian version of a smart
weapon, Israeli military officers said.  Moreover, it is cheap, unpredictable
and abundant.  It is relatively easy to hide, transport and store, and therefore
difficult to detect and defend against despite the Israeli military's high-tech
prowess and long experience.  Since January, 198 people have been killed in
suicide attacks in Israel, more than twice the 84 deaths recorded in suicide
bombings during all of 2001.  In the last 12 months, suicide bombings accounted
for about 40 percent of all deaths from attacks by Palestinians, according to
databases maintained by the Israeli government, think tanks and human rights
groups.  Source:

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NIPC Products & Contact Information

The National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) serves as a national
critical infrastructure threat assessment, warning, vulnerability, and law
enforcement investigation and response entity. The NIPC provides timely warnings
of international threats, comprehensive analysis and law enforcement
investigation and response.  The NIPC provides a range of bulletins and
advisories of interest to information system security and professionals and
those involved in protecting public and private infrastructures.  By visiting
the NIPC web-site (, one can quickly access any of the
following NIPC products:

2002 NIPC Advisories - Advisories address significant threat or incident
information that suggests a change in readiness posture, protective options
and/or response.

2002 NIPC Alerts - Alerts address major threat or incident information
addressing imminent or in-progress attacks targeting specific national networks
or critical infrastructures.

2002 NIPC Information Bulletins - Information Bulletins communicate issues that
pertain to the critical national infrastructure and are for informational
purposes only.

2002 NIPC CyberNotes - CyberNotes is published to support security and
information system professionals with timely information on cyber
vulnerabilities, malicious scripts, information security trends, virus
information, and other critical infrastructure-related best practices.

2002 NIPC Highlights  The NIPC Highlights are published on a monthly basis to
inform policy and/or decision makers of current events, incidents, developments,
and trends related to Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP).  Highlights
seeks to provide policy and/or decision makers with value-added insight by
synthesizing all source information to provide the most detailed, accurate, and
timely reporting on potentially actionable CIP matters.

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