Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,401 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was Mysterious Attack on Calif. Power Station a ‘Dress Rehearsal’ for Much Larger Assault on U.S. Electrical Grid?
Dec. 28, 2013 10:24pm Dave Urbanski



Although the fact that the still-unsolved attack on a power station near San Jose occurred just a handful of hours after the Boston Marathon bombing — and apparently raised a few eyebrows initially — its ride in the public eye has been decidedly under the radar to date.

But that may be changing.

Now that the ranking member of the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee is decrying the incident as possibly indicative of a wider security issue, the brazen attack is getting a bit more attention, noted Foreign Policy.

“It is clear that the electric grid is not adequately protected from physical or cyber attacks,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) at a hearing on regulatory issues earlier this month, Foreign Policy noted.
Is Mysterious Attack on San Jose, Calif. Power Station a Dress Rehearsal for Taking Out Electrical Grid?

Image source: Surveillance video of substation attack

Here’s what went down: Around 1 a.m. on April 16, two manholes were entered and fiber cables cut around the PG&E Metcalf substation, which killed some local 911 services, landline service to the substation, and cell phone service in the area, a senior U.S. intelligence official told Foreign Policy.

More from Foreign Policy:

The intruder(s) then fired more than 100 rounds from what two officials described as a high-powered rifle at several transformers in the facility. Ten transformers were damaged in one area of the facility, and three transformer banks — or groups of transformers — were hit in another, according to a PG&E spokesman.

Cooling oil then leaked from a transformer bank, causing the transformers to overheat and shut down. State regulators urged customers in the area to conserve energy over the following days, but there was no long-term damage reported at the facility and there were no major power outages. There were no injuries reported.

Waxman called the incident “an unprecedented and sophisticated attack on an electric grid substation with military-style weapons” and that “under slightly different conditions, there could have been serious power outages or worse.”

“Initially, the attack was being treated as vandalism and handled by local law enforcement,” the senior intelligence official told Foreign Policy. “However, investigators have been quoted in the press expressing opinions that there are indications that the timing of the attacks and target selection indicate a higher level of planning and sophistication.”

The FBI is on the case but has no evidence that the attack was related to terrorism and seems to believe at this point that it’s an isolated incident, Peter Lee, a spokesman for the FBI field office in San Francisco, which is leading the investigation, told Foreign Policy. The intel official added that there’s also no known motive, and no one has claimed credit; the FBI said there have been no tips from the public.

“These were not amateurs taking potshots,” Mark Johnson, a former vice president for transmission operations at PG&E, said last month at a conference on grid security held in Philadelphia, Foreign Policy noted. “My personal view is that this was a dress rehearsal” for future attacks.

More from Foreign Policy:

At least one senior official thinks the government is focusing too heavily on cyber attacks. Jon Wellinghoff, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said last month that an attack by intruders with guns and rifles could be just as devastating as a cyber attack.

A shooter “could get 200 yards away with a .22 rifle and take the whole thing out,” Wellinghoff said last month at a conference sponsored by Bloomberg. His proposed defense: A metal sheet that would block the transformer from view. “If you can’t see through the fence, you can’t figure out where to shoot anymore,” Wellinghoff said. Price tag? A “couple hundred bucks.” A lot cheaper than the billions the administration has spent in the past four years beefing up cyber security of critical infrastructure in the United States and on government computer networks.

“There are ways that a very few number of actors with very rudimentary equipment could take down large portions of our grid,” Wellinghoff told Foreign Policy. “I don’t think we have the level of physical security we need.”
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,529 Posts
“I don’t think we have the level of physical security we need.”

The cost for such physical security would blow our little, pea-pickin' minds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,595 Posts
I doubt if any knowledgeable group would actually attack a power producing facility but would make coordinated attacks on several sub stations and power transmission lines that would be almost impossible to protect at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
The rehearsal concept now they know it works. The cost have you noticed all the security that went up to stop another attempt? Me either. Win Win for these guys.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,641 Posts
What a way to wreak havoc. A coordinated attack would take down major cities and allow some sort of other attack to take place.

Restoring the infrastructure would not take that long but the down time would allow any number of things to happen.

Let's say they can restore power within a week. Grocery stores only carry 3 days worth of food. Points to ponder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,643 Posts
Pull the plug 50% of the people will go into heart failure. Every company will have to shut down, with out the computer they are up the creek.
With no I phone to call for help or look up a what to do app they will just sit on the bus bench and wait for rescue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,086 Posts
Yep, just shoot holes in the bottom of the cooling fins on the transformers and the coolant (oil) leaks out. The transformer shuts down if it is protected and if it's not protected it will burn up. LOSE LOSE for us and win win for the attackers. If you take out enough of the larger transformers the grid area will shut down. When a grid area is shut down there is a spike in the rest of the system that has to be absorbed. If it is big enough that spike will blow the breakers causing a cascade of shutdowns along the grid. all this for the cost of a box of ammo and a few decent shooters.

To prevent it all we have to do is hide the transformers from view. Simple metal box around the perimeter and you can't see the cooling fins.
S since it is a simple solution we will wait and see if anyone tries it in the future. (the prevention costs less than the repairs did so it makes sense to wait)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
Think about how easy it really is. Next time you're driving around, take a look at how many power substations there are. Or Natural Gas Transfer Stations? I have a small fuel depot about 12 blocks from my house, in the middle of a residential neighborhood; No security or protection whatsoever. None. Unless you count a padlocked chain link fence and a couple of cameras security. Quick in and out with some home-made explosives/I.E.D.'s and you have pockets of areas without any power for weeks, providing you do enough damage. A person could hit several in a night, and set them all off at once with a cell phone call. And there is no way to protect them all. The cost is prohibitive.

I just feel lucky we haven't had a couple of assholes flying around in an ultra-light dropping bottles of mixed up pool chemicals into the forests starting fires. There are so many scenarios of destruction that could be unleashed on us it isn't funny. A couple of car bombs and when is the next time you would go to the mall? We're living on shear luck at this point, and I thank God for that at least.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
I'm surprised they haven't gone after train or school buses yet whre there is ZERO SECURITY. Or even schools. Not to mention sitting at the end of a few major runways with a very large caliber rifle I wont mention with tracer rounds.. Hell the wings are just HUGE flying fuel tanks! If they wanted to hurt us, I truly think they could.. The government wants people to think they are safe because all of the security at airports. That don't mean shit in in big picture.. Tyhen like PaulS said, take out several transformers and there is a cascade effect for a large portion of the grid.. We are not as safe as a lot of people think we are!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,086 Posts
The best safety we have is to be as self sufficient as we can be and stay armed. While the rest of the world is trying to place blame and patch the holes in the pool we can be ready for what comes next.
 
  • Like
Reactions: inceptor

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,211 Posts
Pull the plug 50% of the people will go into heart failure. Every company will have to shut down, with out the computer they are up the creek.
With no I phone to call for help or look up a what to do app they will just sit on the bus bench and wait for rescue.
Just envisioning that image, . . . makes one want to laugh, then cry, then laugh again, . . . it is truly pathetic, . . . but unfortunately, all too true.

If it happens on a Monday, . . . by Friday we all better be hunkered down real good. By then they will have figured out the bus ain't coming, . . . so they'll be roving.

May God bless,
Dwight
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
After 9/11 I told my wife the terrorists messed up. Had they taken out a good portion of the power grid, which is relatively easy, you would have had a SHTF event. People seeing the towers falling and lack of electricity a little later would have induced widespread panic and chaos. The terrorists just didn't think it through. But they do learn. Watch out...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
After 9/11 I told my wife the terrorists messed up. Had they taken out a good portion of the power grid, which is relatively easy, you would have had a SHTF event. People seeing the towers falling and lack of electricity a little later would have induced widespread panic and chaos. The terrorists just didn't think it through. But they do learn. Watch out...
I have always said they are going to end up going after the schools before it's over.. Or even school buses where there is absolutely NO security. How many bad guys were on the plane for 9/11? Imagine if each of them strapped on a vest and walked onto different school buses around the country!!
I just don't understand why they always want to go after planes! There are just so many more targets that make more sense..And with MUCH less security!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
Just asking all those forest fires last year accidents? Heard one report of a fire being started by an Arabic male then it just dried up and vanished. I can't say I'm convinced one way or the other. I have no problem believing our government would try to keep us in the dark but it does seem stuff gets out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,401 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just asking all those forest fires last year accidents? Heard one report of a fire being started by an Arabic male then it just dried up and vanished. I can't say I'm convinced one way or the other. I have no problem believing our government would try to keep us in the dark but it does seem stuff gets out.
I am SHOCKED that you would feel that way, and Benghazi was the result of a video that made some otherwise peaceful muslims upset.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top