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Join us at the BICSI Fall Conference & Exposition

We will be exhibiting at the BICSI Fall Conference & Exposition taking place September 24-28 in Las Vegas. BICSI focuses on the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. Stop by booth 235 to discuss your infrastructure security needs.

 

National Academies report finds grid vulnerable to cyber, physical attacks

Dive Brief:

  • A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concludes the United States’ electric grid is vulnerable to a range of threats, including terrorism or natural disasters that could potentially cause long-term and widespread blackouts.
  • The report, commissioned by Congress, called on the U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Homeland Security to work with utility operators and other stakeholders to improve cyber and physical security and resilience.
  • NASEM said the report committee focused on reducing the grid’s vulnerability to large blackouts that “extend over several service areas or states and last three days or longer.”

Read the full article here.

More than 800 phone and broadband lines were cut off by vandals in the Scottish Borders after tampering with manhole covers.

More than 800 phone and broadband lines were cut off by vandals in the Scottish Borders.

Police are appealing for information after the lines went down leaving homes without potentially critical internet services.

Residents in Tweedbank were targeted between midnight and 2am on Wednesday morning, July 26, 2017.

A manhole cover was tampered with near Galafoot Bridge and cabling was damaged, taking down telephone and broadband lines in the area.

Inspector Tony Hodges said: “This is a mindless attack on the community, leaving many people without essential phone lines and internet services.

Source:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15437575.Hundreds_of_phone_lines_cut_by_vandals_in_the_Scottish_Borders/?ref=rss

 

Update: Copper thieves gut Tulsa’s streetlight grid

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — For years, residents in this cash-strapped city watched helplessly as thieves gutted 33 miles (53 kilometers) of streetlight wiring, plunging long stretches of roadway into darkness. The thousands of dollars criminals pocketed at off-the-books salvage yards wreaked millions of dollars in damage.

Now Tulsa is scrambling to make patchwork repairs to its decimated grid, opting for a quick fix to appease frustrated motorists, including 48-year-old resident Bill White, who says broken streetlights could become a liability for the city and a hazard for drivers, not to mention an eyesore.

Copper thieves have pillaged lighting grids in cities large and small across the nation, causing municipal budgets to skyrocket. Law enforcement agencies estimated that the copper theft racket was costing cities $1 billion a year. At peak demand, copper went for around $4 per pound; it fetches about half that now. Scrap aluminum hovers around 40 cents.

The lighting dilemma in Tulsa also tells the larger story of the country’s deteriorating infrastructure due to decades of neglect, deferred maintenance and unwillingness by officials to make tough funding decisions. Many bridges and overpasses are obsolete; roads are pocked with potholes; sewer systems are time bombs. Some federal officials estimated it would take about $1 trillion to fix the mess.

Cities that can afford more expensive solutions have overhauled their lighting grids with solar or LED technology. Last year, Detroit completed a $185 million conversion of its archaic streetlight system to LED — light-emitting diode — after emerging from bankruptcy. The cost of an LED overhaul, though, could get “staggeringly expensive,” explained Crotty, referencing San Diego as one example.

In an effort to switch most of the lights back on by December, the city is using cheaper, less-durable aluminum wiring instead of more reliable copper and gambling that theft-deterrent doors and stickers affixed to light poles exclaiming in English and Spanish, “We Use Aluminum Wire” will be enough to thwart would-be criminals.

But what the state’s second-largest city is looking to save for the sake of convenience and immediacy could end up throwing its streetlight grid into chaos again, city officials and urban designers say.

“Even with aluminum, really, as long as these materials remain valuable, there’s no magic bullet,” said Terry Ball, the director of Tulsa’s streets and storm water department, which began tracking the thefts in 2014. “There’s no one approach you can take.”

To read the full article, click here.

Thieves use manhole access to steal 1,200 meters of telephone cable

The theft of 1,200 meters of telephone cable early yesterday morning, the second such robbery in two days, left thousands of people in the State of México without phone or internet service.

The theft took place on Avenida Hidalgo in the municipality of Villa Nicolás Romero, and affected residents of 11 neighborhoods.

Two days earlier, more than 3,000 families in the municipality of Melchor Ocampo, also in the State of México, lost their telephone service after thieves stole 2,000 meters of underground cable.

It appears they used a truck to pull the cable through a manhole, cutting it with machetes and axes before loading it in the truck.

The manhole was located on Avenida Filiberto Gómez, one of the town’s main streets.

 

To read the full article, click here.

 

IACIPP on Call to Protect Critical Infrastructure from Terror Attacks

The United Nations Security Council urged joint measures to protect ‘critical infrastructure’ from terrorist attacks in February of this year.

Given the importance of critical infrastructure for a country’s security and prosperity against the backdrop of increasingly diverse physical and cyber threats from terrorist groups, the United Nations Security Council underlined the need for international collaboration – both domestically and across borders – to ensure their protection.

In a resolution adopted unanimously the 15-member Security Council reiterated “the need to strengthen efforts to improve security and protection of particularly vulnerable targets, such as infrastructure and public places.”

Attacks against objects and sectors such as banking and finance, telecommunications, emergency services, air, maritime and rail transportation, and energy and water supply – perceived as ‘attractive targets’ for terrorist groups – can result not only in civilian casualties, but also damage property on a large scale, disrupt proper functioning of public services, and create chaos in societies.  

To read the full article, click here.

Visit us at ISC West in Las Vegas

LockDown Inc. will be exhibiting at the ISC West trade show in Las Vegas. With the exhibit hall open April 5-7, ISC WEST is THE largest security industry trade show in the U.S. Stop by booth 35061 to learn more about our infrastructure security solutions.

 

 

Heavy downpours cause I&I issues for Carpinteria Sanitary District

By Craig Murray, General Manager Carpinteria Sanitary District, for CoastalView.com

As they say, when it rains it pours. On Friday, Feb. 17 it poured in Carpinteria. Nearly 4.5 inches of rain fell during a 24-hour period, more than I’ve seen in any single day since my job made me start paying attention to such things.

Of course, with the prolonged drought, we need the rain badly and this deluge allowed our local water purveyors to breathe a small sigh of relief. For wastewater agencies, however, intense rainfall events like this one can end up in the category of “too much of a good thing.”

Infiltration and inflow, or I&I, is an industry term that refers to storm water or shallow groundwater that enters the sewer collection system during and immediately following a rain event. In the wastewater business, I&I is bad.

There are several ways that rainwater gets into the sewer system. Surface flooding can inundate sewer manholes allowing water to enter the system through vent holes in cast iron manhole lids. When soils are saturated, rainwater can infiltrate the sewer system through cracks in underground manholes, sewer mains and sewer laterals. Finally, and most significantly, storm water can enter the sewer system through the illicit connection of roof drains, yard drains and other surface drains.

No doubt all of these sources of I&I came into play on Feb. 17. Flows into the wastewater treatment plant were over three times higher than normal—we treated 3.4 million gallons as compared to just over a million gallons on a normal day. Fortunately, the treatment facility has the hydraulic capacity to handle these abnormal events, but pumping and treatment costs are dramatically affected by I&I.

Read the full article here.

Copper wire thieves steal from lightpoles, cause $1 Million in damages and endanger drivers in Southwest Washington

Thieves are putting your safety at risk by stealing copper wire from equipment on state roads in Southwest Washington.

The most recent thefts were first reported by the Columbian.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) told KATU copper wire thefts cost the state about $1 million over the past two years and $70 thousand in Southwest Washington alone.

You may not notice them, but when you’re driving on state roads in Washington, critical equipment above helps keep you safe.

“There’s the lights, there’s traffic cameras so we can see if there’s an incident,” said Bart Treece, WSDOT spokesman. “We can help first responders get there.”

Treece said the cameras are also available to drivers so they can plan their routes and see if there’s any trouble to avoid.

“We depend on those types of tools and so do drivers,” Treece said.

To read the full article, click here.

After apparent copper theft attempt, exposed live wires shock man on L.A. sidewalk

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC)
A 21-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition after he was shocked by live wires on a public sidewalk in Boyle Heights.

Firefighters responded to the area near Boyle and 6th streets shortly after midnight on Wednesday following a report of a male being shocked from exposed wires at the base of a light pole.The man, identified by family as Eddie V., was transported to Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was notified of the incident, fire officials said.

As of Friday, family members said Eddie remains hospitalized in critical condition.

For the full article, please click here.
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