Infrastructure Protection

Russia seizing opportunity

Within hours of last month’s twin attacks on Saudi Arabian petroleum facilities, the Russian state arms exporter said it would hold talks with Middle East countries about procuring anti-drone weapons, a market dominated by the U.S. President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states next month.  [node:read-more:link]

Antarctica sheds huge berg

The Amery Ice Shelf in Antarctica has calved its largest iceberg in more than 50 years, a 1,636km 2 block which must be monitored as a potential hazard for shipping in the South Atlantic. The third largest ice shelf on the continent, Amery is a key drainage channel. [node:read-more:link]

Upgraded power grid protection

A bill designed to establish an advisory group of public and private sector representatives, tasked with supporting federal efforts to improve protection of the U.S. electricity grid against cyber attacks, has been approved by the House of Representatives homeland committee. One of several such measures before Congress, it would rotate membership of the proposed advisory group every two years. [node:read-more:link]

Energy grid vulnerable

The U.S. government and “other relevant stakeholders” are being advised by the Government Accountability Office to develop a plan for implementing the federal cybersecurity strategy for the country’s electricity grid, which the GAO says is becoming more vulnerable to cyberattack. Noting that industrial control systems are particularly at risk, it warns that recent assessments indicate attacks could cause widespread power outages. [node:read-more:link]

NATO ill-prepared for drone attacks

The evolution of asymmetric warfare means that NATO isn’t prepared to repel attacks by swarms of small drones and short-range missiles, according to Jason Rood, U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for policy. He says such threats have developed faster than the alliance’s ability to rework missile defense and radar systems to detect small fast objects. [node:read-more:link]

Iran vows to fight

Reacting to a U.S. decision to sent more troops and weapons to Saudi Arabia after the recent drone strike on critical oil infrastructure, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says he’s not confident that war can be avoided. He also said in a televised interview that “whoever starts one will not be the one who finishes it.” [node:read-more:link]

Saudis blame Iran for attack

Saudi Arabia says it can prove Iran’s complicity in the recent drone attack on two major Saudi petroleum facilities. Even so, the kingdom is expected to wait until a UN inspection team completes its investigation. [node:read-more:link]

High-level rift over Saudi attack

The U.S. administration evidently is divided over whom to blame for the recent drone attck on Saudi Arabian petroleum installations. The Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Johnathan Hoffman, says that while there are indications that Iran was in “some way” responsible, he declined to definitively blame Iran. This was after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was “abundantly clear” that Iran was responsible. [node:read-more:link]

LOE satellites vulnerable?

The U.S. National Security Agency is running an experiment designed to test whether the growing number of military and civilian satellites in lower earth orbit have been compromised. The focus, using artificial intelligence technology, is on trying to find out whether orbits have changed and what countermeasures are possible. [node:read-more:link]

More drone strikes likely?

Recent drone attacks on Saudi Arabian petroleum facilities evidently are raising concerns about the prospect of similar strikes against other strategic facilities. The extensive damage has spiked an increase in global oil prices. [node:read-more:link]

Saudi attack increasing tensions

Jens Stoltenberg, the Dane who has been Secretary General of NATO since 2014, worries about Middle East tensions rising after the weekend drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s main oil-processing facility. While there’s an ongoing argument about who was responsible, Stoltenberg said Iran is “destabilizing” the region. [node:read-more:link]

Hackers shut down utilities

Intermittent U.S. power grid shutdowns last March were caused by hackers exploiting utilities’ firewall vulnerabilities. The North American Electric Reliability Corp. says grids were down for up to five minutes at a time but that the software issues have been resolved. [node:read-more:link]

Hong Kong bill withdrawn

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has withdrawn contentious draft legislation which would have permitted extradition of Hong Kong residents to China. The bill sparked months of protests in the former British colony, raising fears of Chinese military intervention. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. cable car link sabotaged

RCMP believe someone deliberately cut the inch-thick cable of the two-kilometre Sea-to-Sky gondola line, a popular tourist attraction along Highway 99 north of Vancouver. Not operating at the time, it usually carries up to 240 passengers at a time on its 30 cars. [node:read-more:link]


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