Weekend Attacks on Arkansas’ Electric Grid Leave 10,000 Without Power; ‘YOU SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED U.S.

Another interesting factor in attacks on the U.S. critical infrastructure is the exploiting of SCADAS. It’s been evidenced quite a few times that these have been compromised.

Here is one such example: UPDATE 3: U.S. probes cyber attack on water system

More than 10,000 people in Arkansas were dumped into a blackout Sunday following an attack on that state’s electric grid, the FBI said today, the third such attack in recent weeks. In August, a major transmission line in the region, around Cabot, Ark., was deliberately cut.

The FBI said that two power poles had been intentionally cut in Lonoke County on Sunday, resulting in the outage.

The FBI said it would pay a $25,000 reward for information about the attacks.

And for good reason. The FBI suspects these attacks are linked with a third incident in September.

This evening, the FBI released additional details regarding yesterday’s attack on the electric grid in central Arkansas.  According to the FBI’s press release:

The person or persons responsible for this incident took a tractor that had been parked inside a fenced area at the intersection of Poston Road and John Shelton Road . . . and drove it through a locked cattle gate. We believe the person or persons drove the tractor south on John Shelton Road, then turned west on either Billy Lane or Phillips Road, then drove the tractor off road at County Road 466 and Phillips Road, following the cleared area of the power line to the wooded area where the poles are located. Our investigation has determined that this tractor was utilized to pull down one of the poles after the poles were cut.

The power lines targeted in the attacks, which can be found on Google Maps, appear to link a high-voltage transmission line with a switching station or substation sited at 161 Billy Ln in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

The implication appears to be that the culprit not only knew where to find the equipment he needed to cause a power outage, but he also know how to use that equipment well enough to pull down two utility poles. 

Full article: Weekend Attacks on Arkansas’ Electric Grid Leave 10,000 Without Power; ‘YOU SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED U.S.’ (Forbes)

One response to “Weekend Attacks on Arkansas’ Electric Grid Leave 10,000 Without Power; ‘YOU SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED U.S.

  1. Towers for support of the lines are made of wood (as-grown or laminated), steel (either lattice structures or tubular poles), concrete, aluminum, and occasionally reinforced plastics. The bare wire conductors on the line are generally made of aluminum (either plain or reinforced with steel , or composite materials such as carbon and glass fiber), though some copper wires are used in medium-voltage distribution and low-voltage connections to customer premises. A major goal of overhead power line design is to maintain adequate clearance between energized conductors and the ground so as to prevent dangerous contact with the line, and to provide reliable support for the conductors, resilient to storms, ice load, earthquakes and other potential causes of damage.