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Intel Briefing – May 2012

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Michigan City wastewater treatment plant superintendent admits Clean Water Act violations.
The former superintendent of the Michigan City, Indiana wastewater treatment plant admitted charges he falsified reports to make it appear the facility was within water pollution limits. The Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana reported the man plead guilty April 5 to three counts of violating the Clean Water Act. The man admitted he knew at times that some water had bypassed parts of the treatment plant but never reported them to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, as required by a permit. Under terms of a plea agreement, he could face up to 2 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

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Industry insiders: Insufficient security controls for smart meters.
False data injection attacks exploit the configuration of power grids by introducing arbitrary errors into state variables while bypassing existing techniques for bad measurement detection; experts say the current generation of smart meters are not secure enough against false data injection attacks, Homeland Security Newswire reported April 10. nCircle recently announced results of a survey of 104 energy security professionals. The survey was sponsored by nCircle and EnergySec, a Department of Energy-funded public-private partnership that works to enhance cyber security of electric infrastructure. The online survey was conducted March 12 to 31. When asked, “Do smart meter installations have sufficient security controls to protect against false data injection?” 61 percent of respondents said “no.”

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Turkey into electrical wires knocks out power to Sonoma County’s 911 system.
A wild turkey that flew into power lines knocked out the high-tech emergency 9-1-1 dispatch system in Sonoma County, California, April 8, and crippled operations at the courthouse and county jail April 9. The power blackout was compounded when the county’s massive and expensive emergency backup power system failed. The blackout affected almost 2,000 homes and businesses, including the county’s computer aided dispatch system used by nearly all public safety departments in the county. Without it, police and fire dispatchers were forced to take calls with paper and pencil for an hour. With the blackout, the dispatchers’ computers and every computer connected to the county system went out. At that point, the county’s uninterrupted power supply, or UPS, should have kicked in. April 9, computer crews were checking why the 10-year-old backup system failed. Without electricity, dispatchers lost access to computerized maps that help them quickly pinpoint locations for firefighters, police, and ambulance crews. Instead, everyone had to use paper map books and communicate using radios and phones. No significant delays or problems in responding to calls were reported during the blackout, officials said.

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Posted by FanSite on May 1st, 2012 and filed under Intel Brief. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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