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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 11/22/2012 12:14:19 PM EST
Looking through yesterdays paper and saw an article quoting the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission describing in some detail the way a low tech attack could take down large portions of the power grid. He was discussing this to point out that we don't have the level of security needed to stop this type of attack. Not quite complete plans for a terrorist but certainly a starting point for a budding terrorist. Way to go Chairman Jon Wellinghoff!
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 12:21:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/22/2012 12:21:45 PM EST by cmjohnson]
Why even bother? It's trivially simple. Apply short circuit. Breakers trip. Condition persists until cleared.


The trick is not to fry yourself in the process. That's not one for the win category.

I also would not wish to piss off hundreds of thousands of my fellow citizens. That also would not be a win.


Any yahoo with a bow and arrow and a spool of wire can cause problems.


Link Posted: 11/22/2012 12:21:37 PM EST
Nothing they don't already know. Anybody with a basic knowledge of power plants could tell you how to take one down.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 12:31:56 PM EST
Squirrels know how.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 12:36:12 PM EST
I didn't realize the how of it was so simple. I might have guessed since mice aren't so smart and they've cost me plenty chewing up electrical wiring.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 12:36:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bobby_the_Hun:
Squirrels know how.


So do copper thieves
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 12:44:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By Merrell:
Originally Posted By Bobby_the_Hun:
Squirrels know how.


So do copper thieves



Darwin likes them very much

Link Posted: 11/22/2012 12:53:06 PM EST
My Father had a German Boss that fought the Russians in WWII.
His boss believed that Russian sleepers in the US had chains with
steel balls on each end in the trunks of their cars. He said they
were going to do a simultaneous atack on our power grid one day.

Tin foil on.. it does seem feasible if done in large enough numbers
at the same time.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 12:53:45 PM EST
If you care to research the subject, G. Gordon Liddy wrote a magazine article on the subject back in the '90s. He also covered how to take out the natural gas distrbution network, based on the pipelines and compressor stations of the day.

I haven't see much change to the electrical or gas systems since thst time, do the information should still hold true. Amazing what some folks with hunting rifles and surplus armor-piercing rounds could do if they were motivated to do so.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 12:54:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bobby_the_Hun:
Originally Posted By Merrell:
Originally Posted By Bobby_the_Hun:
Squirrels know how.


So do copper thieves



Darwin likes them very much



Link Posted: 11/22/2012 2:55:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By Banditman:
My Father had a German Boss that fought the Russians in WWII.
His boss believed that Russian sleepers in the US had chains with
steel balls on each end in the trunks of their cars. He said they
were going to do a simultaneous atack on our power grid one day.

Tin foil on.. it does seem feasible if done in large enough numbers
at the same time.

Too heavy to toss it high enough. Look at how far up the high tension wires are these days. The higher the voltage they run at,
the higher they're mounted.

You'd use a fairly light weight that's easily tossed high enough, tied to a string tied to a heavier string tied to a rope
tied to something metallic, and pull it across.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 2:58:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:

Originally Posted By Banditman:
My Father had a German Boss that fought the Russians in WWII.
His boss believed that Russian sleepers in the US had chains with
steel balls on each end in the trunks of their cars. He said they
were going to do a simultaneous atack on our power grid one day.

Tin foil on.. it does seem feasible if done in large enough numbers
at the same time.

Too heavy to toss it high enough. Look at how far up the high tension wires are these days. The higher the voltage they run at,
the higher they're mounted.

You'd use a fairly light weight that's easily tossed high enough, tied to a string tied to a heavier string tied to a rope
tied to something metallic, and pull it across.

You have to remember this was in the 70's. Adaptations can be made.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:04:42 PM EST
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:

Originally Posted By Banditman:
My Father had a German Boss that fought the Russians in WWII.
His boss believed that Russian sleepers in the US had chains with
steel balls on each end in the trunks of their cars. He said they
were going to do a simultaneous atack on our power grid one day.

Tin foil on.. it does seem feasible if done in large enough numbers
at the same time.

Too heavy to toss it high enough. Look at how far up the high tension wires are these days. The higher the voltage they run at,
the higher they're mounted.

You'd use a fairly light weight that's easily tossed high enough, tied to a string tied to a heavier string tied to a rope
tied to something metallic, and pull it across.


Yea, you go ahead and try that and see what happens.

P.S. Anything is a conductor and I mean anything.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:07:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By Nagewaza624:


Yea, you go ahead and try that and see what happens.

P.S. Anything is a conductor and I mean anything.


Even a string is a good conductor when it's got 14,000 volts running through it. At such voltages, anything not made to be a good
insulator is NOT a good insulator.

CJ
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:18:10 PM EST
Who cares about the power grid, cell towers are the ones the should worry about

Free
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:19:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By FREEFALLE7:
Who cares about the power grid, cell towers are the ones the should worry about

Free

Without power cells phones are not useable with days. Cell towers are powered by the grid.
The back up batteries at the towers do not last long.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:20:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/22/2012 3:20:41 PM EST by WildApple]
A kid who I went to high school with who was a bit of a problem child once knocked the power out of a small town by throwing a chain over a fence into the substation next to his house.

Pretty sure he got in some trouble over that......duh
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:21:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/22/2012 3:22:50 PM EST by Forgetfull]
Electrical engineer at a major power utility.


shit goes down everyday whoopdy do, chicken Little needs to keep the big boy work to the big boys.
Trust me we know what the problems are and appropriate responses.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:22:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By Forgetfull:
Electrical engineer at a major power utility.


shit goes down everyday whoopdy do, chicken Little need to keep the big boy work to the big boys.

Then you should know that many power units going down at once can cause havoc. We have see this
many times over the last 3 decades.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:23:35 PM EST
The bad guys could just throw some sneakers in the power lines.

Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:25:10 PM EST
Originally Posted By Banditman:

Originally Posted By Forgetfull:
Electrical engineer at a major power utility.


shit goes down everyday whoopdy do, chicken Little need to keep the big boy work to the big boys.

Then you should know that many power units going down at once can cause havoc. We have see this
many times over the last 3 decades.


Ya it happens a bit and we deal with it. Business as usual. Worry about poison in water supplies, terrorism in planes, illegal immigration, or car accidents.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:27:20 PM EST
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Why even bother? It's trivially simple. Apply short circuit. Breakers trip. Condition persists until cleared.


The trick is not to fry yourself in the process. That's not one for the win category.

I also would not wish to piss off hundreds of thousands of my fellow citizens. That also would not be a win.


Any yahoo with a bow and arrow and a spool of wire can cause problems.




A short like that is easy to fix but a few people with aks could do a lot of permanent damage to
Sub stations.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:33:46 PM EST
You could burn up some massive components with a fluke 789 that only puts out 24 volts if you are creative.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:37:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By Forgetfull:
Originally Posted By Banditman:

Originally Posted By Forgetfull:
Electrical engineer at a major power utility.


shit goes down everyday whoopdy do, chicken Little need to keep the big boy work to the big boys.

Then you should know that many power units going down at once can cause havoc. We have see this
many times over the last 3 decades.


Ya it happens a bit and we deal with it. Business as usual. Worry about poison in water supplies, terrorism in planes, illegal immigration, or car accidents.

Yes it has happened and is a threat, couple that with poisonings and other things
and that would cause great harm to us. The nonchalant attitude you have is what
they prey on.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:37:10 PM EST
Originally Posted By WilliamGray:
You could burn up some massive components with a fluke 789 that only puts out 24 volts if you are creative.


you could burn up just as much w/ a laptop and a ip address

Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:47:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/22/2012 3:47:41 PM EST by ultramagbrion]
Sitting on a turbine deck , watching our machining / repair / testing equipment run , sometimes with plenty of time between cycles , I've sat there many-a-time at 3 in the morning , bored , running different scenarios through in my head . . . . . different ways that a determined terrorist could take out a turbine / generator .

Power lines and towers might take days or maybe weeks to fix , but a destroyed turbine would take months to get back online .
With that much weight ( the 15 - 20 + foot diameters of tons and tons of stainless and inconel ) spinning away at 3600 rpm , actions have catastrophic consequences Thing is , rotors arent usually sitting on the shelf , readily available to swap out.

Ive been in the field now for 12 + years in the power generation biz , and Ive mentioned this very scenario here before . It aint a pretty thought.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:50:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By Merrell:
Originally Posted By Bobby_the_Hun:
Squirrels know how.


So do copper thieves


Toss in some meth and we're fucked.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:52:32 PM EST
Originally Posted By Nagewaza624:
Originally Posted By WilliamGray:
You could burn up some massive components with a fluke 789 that only puts out 24 volts if you are creative.


you could burn up just as much w/ a laptop and a ip address



There is a lot of insecure scada infrastructure. There are also a lot of insecure 4-20mA current transducers too.

Link Posted: 11/22/2012 4:06:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By ultramagbrion:
Sitting on a turbine deck , watching our machining / repair / testing equipment run , sometimes with plenty of time between cycles , I've sat there many-a-time at 3 in the morning , bored , running different scenarios through in my head . . . . . different ways that a determined terrorist could take out a turbine / generator .

Power lines and towers might take days or maybe weeks to fix , but a destroyed turbine would take months to get back online .
With that much weight ( the 15 - 20 + foot diameters of tons and tons of stainless and inconel ) spinning away at 3600 rpm , actions have catastrophic consequences Thing is , rotors arent usually sitting on the shelf , readily available to swap out.

Ive been in the field now for 12 + years in the power generation biz , and Ive mentioned this very scenario here before . It aint a pretty thought.


You work a turbine crew? We just got the shell back on one of ours last week. Destroying a turbine would mean a very long outage and layoffs for us.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 4:24:54 PM EST
When the US took down the Iraqi power grid, the turbines were not targeted because replacement would be such a big deal and take so long. Still, it took a long time to restore power.

IIRC, drones trailing carbon filament were flown over power lines dropping lots of filament lines.

Link Posted: 11/22/2012 4:28:20 PM EST
Originally Posted By MikeSSS:
When the US took down the Iraqi power grid, the turbines were not targeted because replacement would be such a big deal and take so long. Still, it took a long time to restore power.

IIRC, drones trailing carbon filament were flown over power lines dropping lots of filament lines.



That would need to be some thick carbon. I would think something light enough to be dragged by a drone would just make a little light show that the power grid would laugh at. Now breaking ceramic insulators on aluminum poles is another story.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 6:04:00 PM EST
Why would terrorists bother with that, they've got their man in the White House for another four years.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 6:19:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By XJ:
Why would terrorists bother with that, they've got their man in the White House for another four years.


They decided to put a lot of work Into destroying our power grid.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 6:36:54 PM EST
Originally Posted By WilliamGray:
Originally Posted By MikeSSS:
When the US took down the Iraqi power grid, the turbines were not targeted because replacement would be such a big deal and take so long. Still, it took a long time to restore power.

IIRC, drones trailing carbon filament were flown over power lines dropping lots of filament lines.



That would need to be some thick carbon. I would think something light enough to be dragged by a drone would just make a little light show that the power grid would laugh at. Now breaking ceramic insulators on aluminum poles is another story.


Blackout bombs...
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 7:04:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By hh47:
Originally Posted By WilliamGray:
Originally Posted By MikeSSS:
When the US took down the Iraqi power grid, the turbines were not targeted because replacement would be such a big deal and take so long. Still, it took a long time to restore power.

IIRC, drones trailing carbon filament were flown over power lines dropping lots of filament lines.



That would need to be some thick carbon. I would think something light enough to be dragged by a drone would just make a little light show that the power grid would laugh at. Now breaking ceramic insulators on aluminum poles is another story.


Blackout bombs...


Hmm, that's pretty slick. The wire does vaporize, but during the process ionizes the area around the short allowing the arc flash to continue through air. Neat idea.

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