Chinese Woman Arrested for Downloading Files on Vulnerabilities in US Dams

It’s not hard to imagine, after obtaining information such as this, seeing key dams failing. How would this happen? Not necessarily with terrorist bombings, but with cyberwarfare. If you wanted to physically take them down via power grids, as a professional hit team had done in California, you need only to take out nine substations to indefinitely cripple America and potentially kill hundreds of millions from the aftereffect. It’s already on the edge of failure now as we speak. On the cyberwarfare front, you only need to take advantage of the SCADA system (See also HERE and HERE) that remains largely unprotected and vulnerable as well.

America is in the final phase of a perfect storm overseeing its collapse (on the economic and social front as well) that could happen at any given time as it is now past the point of no return in protecting itself. It can’t even screen itself from espionage in its vital infrastructure, as seen in this article. Having said that, it’s not hard to see that America’s adversaries have first strike capability, and therefore likely checkmate.

But hey, no time for that, we have a MLB World Series to watch and cheap (sometimes toxic) Chinese goods to scuffle over on Black Friday.


A sensitive database that lists vulnerabilities in every major U.S. dam was breached last year in an attack traced back to the Chinese regime. The security breach had U.S. officials worried that China could be planning to attack America’s power grid.

Now, one year later, a Chinese woman was arrested for breaching that same network. Xiafen “Sherry” Chen, 59, was arrested on Oct. 20 for allegedly downloading the sensitive files on U.S. dams and for lying to federal investigators.

The registry Chen allegedly accessed and downloaded ranks the dams by the number of Americans who would die if they failed, according to Nextgov. It also lists vulnerabilities that could be exploited in the dams, which could be used by a hostile nation to attack the United States.

Chen is a hydrologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facility in Wilmington, Ohio. According to the two-page indictment, Chen “willfully and knowingly” stole the sensitive and restricted information from the database in May 2012.

The information Chen breached was the National Inventory of Dams (NID) database, which is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Dam Safety Review Board.

The indictment does not mention Chen’s nationality, and does not say anything about espionage. Filing charges for espionage can be difficult, since it requires proof that the individual provided information to a foreign government.

Last year, however, Pete Pierce, a Corps of Engineers spokesman confirmed that someone without authorization gained access to the NID database in January 2013.

If the statement holds true, and if Chen breached the network in May 2012, it means someone connected to the Chinese regime had been granted access to the same database who has either not been named, or who has not been caught.

Full article: Chinese Woman Arrested for Downloading Files on Vulnerabilities in US Dams (The Epoch Times)

One response to “Chinese Woman Arrested for Downloading Files on Vulnerabilities in US Dams

  1. It appears there is a larger story here. This post provided some additional insight, more so than the generic FBI press release.

    The Southern District of Ohio Court docket also shows there was a motion to seal the case on 10/16, which was later reversed and entered on 10/24.

    The indictment is very light on details, which would lead one to believe Ms. Chen is a “small player” being used for some sort of plea bargain deal to incriminate more important actors.

    In 2011, Chen received an award from the National Weather Service for her efforts in the development of a new hydraulic model used to produce lifesaving river forecasts for the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers during record flooding.

    Wilmington, OH is a relatively small community. The regional news media failed in their primary responsibilities as investigative institutions during their initial reporting. If you look at some of the coverage provided by the various outlets, there was very little information provided.

    One Cincinnati-based outlet reported that the Chens were viewed as suspicious by their neighbors because they had coverings on their windows, rarely socialized and had a vegetable garden in the front yard. Utterly lacking in content or quality.

    One interesting aspect located through the Ohio Business Search website is that another Chen family member (perhaps Chen’s husband?) has a business registered at the same address as Xiafen “Sherry” Chen in Wilmington.

    “HC TECHNOLOGY, LLC” (Huoyuan Chen) was organized as a Domestic LLC in Oct. 2010. However, there doesn’t appear to be any information available as to what type of business this is. Could this be connected?

    Food for thought.