Sunday, December 29, 2013

"We Now Know That The Attack On The CA. PG&E Substation Was Not A Bunch Of Amatuers Taking Potshots"

"We Now Know That The Attack On The CA. PG&E Substation Was Not A Bunch Of Amatuers Taking Potshots"
Posted By: WatchmanDate: Sunday, 29-Dec-2013 15:45:49

I’m going to start pushing out sporadic news reports with some level of intelligence-related interest, and calling them (for now) the Executive Summary (EXSUM). EXSUMs are typically written for flag-officer commanders who only have time to hear the most pressing developments. I present them for your viewing pleasure.
Critical Infrastructure.
Know where it is, and how it can affect you. We already know that the electrical grid is a vulnerability. Whether you believe in false-flag terrorism, Islamic terrorism, or a mix of the two, you really ought be to preparing for an event in which something like this causes some serious problems. Attackers infiltrated a California substation, disable 911 phone lines, and then fired 100 rounds that caused some damage to transformers. What’s most interesting is what the authorities now believe about the attack.
“Initially, the attack [on the substation] was being treated as vandalism and handled by local law enforcement,” the senior intelligence official said. “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.”

“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.
Source: Foreign Policy
Cell Phones Becoming NSA In-Flight Entertainment.
It only makes sense that NSA wants to monitor you 100% of the time. If they can’t, then they have a problem (and so do you).
The NSA and GCHQ … are obsessed with searching out any small little crevice on the planet where some forms of communication may be taking place without them being able to invade it.
… the NSA and GCHQ are being driven crazy by this idea that you can go on an airplane and use certain cellphone devices or internet services and be away from their prying eyes for a few hours at a time.
Source: The Register – UK
DHS Cyber Expansion.
DHS plans on adding to its cyber workforce, even though 20% of billeted positions remain unfilled, according to the report. When a nation is so dependent upon the net for its communications, finance, and economy, a cyber attack becomes as dangerous as a nuclear weapon, with a payload much easier to deliver.
A proposed amendment to the Homeland Security Act calls for the DHS Secretary to regularly evaluate the readiness and capacity of the agency’s cyber staff to meet its cybersecurity mission, form a five-year recruitment plan, and develop a 10-year projection of workforce needs.
Killing Cities to Save Them.
Those of you who poo-poo military strategy and descriptions of warfare in order to characterize and learn from them, stop reading here. Everyone else, take a look at what Kilcullen (Counterinsurgency, The Accidental Guerrilla – we’ve talked about him on this blog several times) was on NPR to describe how the face of war is changing. Here, he describes how US/CF locked down cities… words to the wise.
… I think the lessons [of lowering civilian deaths in Iraq] are important because we did it by killing the city. We shut the city down. We brought in more than 100 kilometers of concrete T-wall. We put troops on every street corner. We got alongside people and try to make them feel safe. It was very, you know, sort of human intense and equipment intense. That option will not be open for us in the mega city. You won’t be able to do that in Karachi or just obviously, hypothetical examples, Lagos or Dakar or any of the big cities. There are 20 million people…
You could lose the entire U.S. military that went to Iraq in one of the cities, and most people that lived there wouldn’t even know. Counterinsurgency as practiced in Afghanistan and Iraq just won’t be feasible in a large city on a coast line in the next 20 or 30 years.
Of course, towns the size of 100,000 and smaller are prime territory for the Baghdad neighborhood-style of counterinsurgency that we saw throughout the mid-2000s in Iraq and Afghanistan. So if you expect a township rebellion, expect a troop ‘on every corner’, so to speak.
Kilcullen goes on to describe where and how urban conflict is born:
As I’ve looked at all the cities that are growing, one of the inescapable conclusions is you get conflict not where you have just basic income inequality. You get conflict where people are locked out of progress and they look at all these people having a good time and realize I’m never going to be part of that party and they decide to burn the house down. So a lot of it is about getting communities into collaborative approach to solving their own problems. And that’s fundamentally the realm of, you know, social work and international assistance and diplomacy.
That’s all for now. These may get more formal.

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