Intelligence Briefing – Q2 2016

Pipeline company indicted in Refugio oil spill.

The California attorney general announced May 17 that Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline and one if its employees face several criminal charges and up to $2.8 million in penalties following a May 2015 incident where more than 140,000 gallons of crude oil was released from the company’s pipeline onto Refugio Beach and into the ocean, harming hundreds of species and marine life. The incident was prompted by a severely corroded underground pipeline that broke on land.

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Susquehanna’s Unit 2 back on line after four-day shutdown.

Talen Energy officials reported May 17 that its Susquehanna Steam Electric Station Unit 2 nuclear reactor in Salem Township, Penn., was back online following a four-day manual shutdown due to an issue in one of the unit’s 480-volt electrical distribution centers May 13.

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Major leak at Columbus water treatment plant.

Columbus Water Works isolated a major water leak at the North Columbus Water Sources Facility on River Road in Georgia that caused reduced service or loss of service for residents for approximately 5 hours May 17. Officials stated that residents might see discolored water for up to 24 hours while the system stabilized.

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Suburban NYC school shuts off drinking water due to lead.

George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School in New York City announced May 16 that it shut off its drinking water sources after testing in March revealed high levels of lead in some of the school’s water sources. Officials reported that bottled water and coolers would be provided.

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Test detects high lead levels in water at Newton’s Burr Elementary School.

Water service to drinking fountains at Burr Elementary School in Newton was shut off May 17 after testing revealed high levels of lead in one of the fountains. School officials are providing bottled water until the cause of the lead contamination is determined.

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Hackers hold DeKalb Health computer systems hostage.

DeKalb Health in Indiana announced May 16 that its administrative computers were infected with ransomware, temporarily disrupting operations while officials worked to transfer patients and bring the systems back online. The incident remained under investigation at press time.

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Keystone Pipeline leak fixed; clean up continues in Hutchinson County.

A TransCanada Corporation spokesperson reported May 16 that repairs to the Keystone pipeline in Hutchinson County, South Dakota, were completed but cleanup is continuing following an April incident where the pipeline sprung a leak and spilled about 400 barrels of crude oil in and on farmland south of Freeman.

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Millstone reactor shuts down due to hydrogen gas leak.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is investigating May 16 a hydrogen gas leak that prompted the shutdown of the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant’s Unit 3 nuclear reactor in Waterford, Conn., after the leak began in a turbine building when a hydrogen sealant plug in the main generator became loose May 15.

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Ukrainian hacker admits stealing business press releases for $30M gain.

A Ukrainian citizen pleaded guilty May 16 to Federal charges for his role in a $30 million hacking scheme where the man and nine coconspirators hacked into PR Newswire, Business Wire, and Marketwired to get advance notice on over 150,000 company’s earnings statements, and sold the insider trading information for tens of thousands of dollars to traders who executed deals to buy or sell stocks based on the stolen information, which had not yet been released from 2010-2015. Officials stated that once the transactions were complete, the traders shared the illegal profits with the hackers through foreign shell companies.

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Upgraded Android banking trojan targets users in 200 countries.

Security researches from Doctor Web reported that an Android banking trojan dubbed Android.SmsSpy.88. origin, initially discovered in 2014, was updated with new ransomware capabilities including a credit card information stealing capability that targets around 100 banking applications by using WebView to display a phishing window on top of the legitimate banking app, and by utilizing a fake Google Play payment phishing page to intercept and send short message service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS) messages, send unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) requests, and transmit all saved messages to the server, among other malicious actions. Security researchers stated the trojan has infected over 40,000 devices in over 200 countries.

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Haysville students allegedly plot to bomb middle school.

Haysville Middle School Administrators announced that four students were taken into custody May 12 for allegedly plotting to bomb and shoot people at the middle school after resource officers were notified of the threat made via social media. The police department is investigating.

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Philadelphia doctors charged in $5M prescription drug bust.

Three doctors were charged May 12 for allegedly selling more than $5 million worth of prescription drugs from a now-defunct business on South Broad Street in Philadelphia known as the National Association for Substance Abuse, Prevention & Treatment by reaching out to unsuspecting families of addicts under the guise of offering help. The doctors reportedly exploited the addictions by writing prescriptions for commonly abused drugs without medical or mental evaluations in exchange for cash.

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EPA releases first-ever standards to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced May 12 new steps to address methane emissions from both new and existing sources in the oil and gas sector, which include clarification of the Source Determination Rule, and a final Federal implementation plan for the Minor New Source Review Program in Indian County in an effort to reduce 510,000 short tons of methane by 2025. The new regulations also include the issuance of an Information Collection Request (ICR) that seeks information on the types of technology that could be used to reduce emissions and their associated costs.

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Waterloo hospital notifies 1,620 patients of data breach.

UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa, announced May 11 that it will notify 1,620 patients about a former employee who inappropriately accessed their names, addresses, health insurance information, and treatment records from Sept. 2009–March 2016. There have been no reports of identity theft related to the incident and the hospital has taken disciplinary action.

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