“Vandalism” Suspected in NC Utility Outage, Foreign Influence Not Ruled Out

Intentional criminal acts are being reported in North Carolina, as utilities describe a wide and “complicated” recovery ahead.

Utility company Duke Energy said nearly 38,000 customers were without power in Moore County, while the Randolph Electric Membership Corporation reported outages affected nearly 3,000 customers in the county’s southern area, WRAL-TV reported. Both Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields and Brooks report that the potential cause of the outages could be vandalism. Brooks said he could not further describe the nature of the possible crime.

This will be important to track not least of all because of how it will fit into the hacking threat narrative I sometimes opine about here.

If the vandalism is all physical as recently warned by DHS (e.g. shooting substations at night, cutting underground cables and wires), it will shadow similar reports elsewhere in the country some years ago.

Nearly five years after a sniper fired more than 100 rounds at the PG&E Metcalf power substation in San Jose, the California Public Utilities Commission has issued its suggestions on how to improve security for all of the state’s power facilities.

Some may remember the details.

In the early morning of April 13, 2013, a sniper targeting PG&E’s Metcalf Transmission Substation south of San Jose, fired 100 rounds of high-caliber ammunition, which resulted in approximately $15.4 million in damage.

The outcome of that attack was utilities were supposed to focus for the past decade on fast recovery from terrorist attacks, which is why someone should be asking NC officials in 2022 how they can be talking about long timelines instead.

Another warning came just earlier this year in February when an interstate domestic terror conspiracy (white nationalist) group was caught trying to incite race war in a plot to shoot at power stations.

See also: The History of Russian Involvement in America’s Race Wars.

America in past incorrectly concluded major attacks on infrastructure were domestic only, as I’ve written about before.

From at least the very beginning of WWI in 1914, if not earlier, [long before American involvement] Germany was running clandestine terrorist operations throughout the U.S.; They organized information gathering as well as very violent terrorist activities…

It thus begs uncomfortable questions about foreign military intelligence, even if only indirectly involved through observing and taking notes.

Update December 5 (next day): without mentioning any of the CPUC, DHS or DOJ reports above, it has been confirmed now by the utility that infrastructure again was damaged by gunfire.

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