View Full Version : Silicon Valley power network attack

10-15-2013, 03:28 PM
Moderator adds: The first two posts were copied here, the next three posts appeared on another thread and moved here as it warrants its own thread. See Post 6 for explanation (ends).

Nothing to see here. Move along.


They got their cracka.

Bill Moore
12-30-2013, 02:58 AM
This was in the SWJ News round up today, but based on the video link it appears this attack took place in April. Based on the description of the attack it was not simple vandalism. It was likely conducted by an insider with a grudge, or an individual/group that received some professional level sabotage training. I'm surprised there not was more damage, but since there were no reported follow on attacks I'm guessing this was a grudge attack.


"Military-Style" Raid on California Power Station Spooks U.S.

"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. "My personal view is that this was a dress rehearsal" for future attacks.

He isn't correct about .22, but his point is still valid, and apparently he doesn't work for the government because he actually has a common sense recommendation.

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.

02-05-2014, 09:26 PM
This is scary.

The Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Smith reports that a former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman is acknowledging for the first time that a group of snipers shot up a Silicon Valley substation for 19 minutes last year, knocking out 17 transformers before slipping away into the night.

The attack was "the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred" in the U.S., Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, told Smith.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/silicon-valley-power-station-sniper-attack-2014-2#ixzz2sTudhvWp

02-06-2014, 04:17 AM
Adam G:

Somebody is sending the Americans a message.

Judging from the description available at NPR, it is probably a good thing the deputies got there late. If they had showed up earlier they may have run into the security element and that would not have been good.

02-06-2014, 05:50 AM
If you mapquest the area of Metcalf Rd and Monterrey Highway southeast of San Jose, you will see that the substation would only be approached by local law enforcement via one road. The substation is also right next to an Interstate Highway and there is an interchange what looks like less than a mile away. Plus there looks to be a hiking trail going right next to the substation.

That all seems pertinent to me.

02-06-2014, 11:16 AM
I think this incident merits its own thread. Attacks on the power transmission network anywhere are unusual, the networks are an acknowledged 'critical point' or part of the national infrastructure.

Adam G's initial post appeared in 'The Next US Revolution' thread.

The original WSJ in depth report adds more:http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304851104579359141941621778#printM ode

02-06-2014, 04:12 PM
1) Jon Wellinghoff, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, says an April attack on Silicon Valley's power grid was an act of terror.


2) Previous postings in the LEO USA thread - Moderator adds have been copied to this thread.

We probably need to start a SWJ Betting Board on who the Bad Guys turn out to be.

02-06-2014, 04:49 PM
Funny the things that get posted in 'Comments' sections.

Where's the smirky-incredulous emoticon?

James Triguero on Feb 5, 3:07 PM said:
A few hours before the attack, I was there. I had decided to ride my bike on the
Coyote Creek Trail from San Jose to Morgan Hill for the first time. I was
surprised how close the trail came to the substation. My father is a retired
high voltage electrician with the DOE and my brother works for SRP in Arizona as
a high voltage electrician in Arizona. I took out my phone to take pictures of
the transformers to send to my brother and dad to ask if they were 512kv models.
I stopped when I realized that it would look suspicious on surveillance cameras
(the Boston Marathon bombing had just occurred) so I put my phone away. I
thought that the transformers would be an easy target for someone with a rifle.
I was a little bit freaked when I found out the attack happened a few hours
later and worried that I might be suspected of surveilling the site because I
stopped to take photos. I still don't know if the shots came from freeway or
from the trail. The trail is a
weak spot as you don't need a "sniper" rifle—you can come quite close. They
should consider a solid fence and more cameras for that part of the station.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/silicon-valley-power-station-sniper-attack-2014-2#ixzz2sYE0sAiz

02-06-2014, 08:28 PM
If we are going to start a bad guy betting board I bid Quds Force. Not that we'll ever know, those guys will never get caught.

02-06-2014, 09:08 PM
Most Dangerous: Anti-American Ninjas of some International flavor.

Most Likely: some local unbalanced asshat amateur(s) trying to prove a point.

05-23-2015, 02:25 AM
Alibi posting, from September past.

SAN FRANCISCO – An attack last year on Silicon Valley's power grid appears to have involved only one shooter and did not require access to technology or a high degree of training, an FBI official said.

The incident began when one or more people lifted heavy manhole covers south of San Jose, climbed under the road and cut AT&T fiber optic cables, temporarily knocking out 911 service and phone service, sheriff's officials have said.

About 15 minutes later, someone fired a high-powered rifle into a nearby PG&E substation, damaging numerous transformers.


10-23-2017, 10:37 AM
Double-tapping this for maximum exposure.

The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a report distributed by email late on Friday that the nuclear, energy, aviation, water and critical manufacturing industries have been targeted along with government entities in attacks dating back to at least May.
The agencies warned that hackers had succeeded in compromising some targeted networks, but did not identify specific victims or describe any cases of sabotage. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-energy/u-s-warns-public-about-attacks-on-energy-industrial-firms-idUSKBN1CQ0IN