Tag Archive for Critical Infrastructure

(U//LES) DHS Wastewater Treatment Facility Vulnerabilities and Terrorist Indicators Reports

Wastewater is water that has been used. It includes substances such as human waste, food scraps, oils, soaps, and chemicals. Wastewater is derived from residential, commercial, and industrial activities. In homes, wastewater is produced from sinks, showers, bathtubs, toilets, washing machines, and dishwashers. Commercial and industrial activities also produce wastewater that must be treated prior to release to the environment. In addition to home and business production, wastewater can also be generated by storm runoff (referred to as inflow) and interception of ground water (infiltration). Because of potentially harmful substances that wash off roads, parking lots, and rooftops, this water must also be treated.

(U//LES) DHS Railroad Bridges Vulnerabilities and Terrorist Indicators Reports

The national economy is based on timely rail deliveries, especially in light of industry’s current practice of just-in-time stocking arrangements. Railroad bridges can be critical chokepoints for high-volume rail lines moving freight from geographic areas of supply to other areas of demand. Furthermore, critical rail bridges are vital assets of the Strategic Rail Corridor Network (STRACNET), a 38,800-mile interconnected network of rail corridors. The STRACNET supports the deployment of military forces across the U.S. to strategically located ports of embarkation.

DHS Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability and Terrorist Activity Indicator Reports

Over the next two weeks, Public Intelligence will be publishing several dozen reports from the Department of Homeland Security’s Protective Security Division concerning vulnerabilities and the detection of terrorist activity at critical infrastructure locations. This information was inadvertently disseminated by a non-profit organization that is concerned with domestic preparedness. Due to flaws in their website’s construction, a members area for sharing documentation was openly accessible to anyone and had been largely indexed in Google’s search results. The documents range in date from 2003-2004 and provide early background on critical infrastructure security activities, including known vulnerabilities that often have not been fixed and tenuous listings of so-called “suspicious activity” indicators. The documents also provide background on a number of “critical infrastructure” categories about which there has previously been a lack of publicly-available information. Some of these categories include railroad yards, wastewater treatment facilities, undersea cable landings and milk processing plants. For easier browsing, reports will be added to the list below as they are published.

(U//LES) DHS Banking Repositories Vulnerabilities and Terrorist Indicators Reports

One of the key roles of the government is to maintain the stability of the nation’s financial system and to address and contain systematic risk that may arise in the financial markets. The financial repositories play an important role in market stability. Several agencies of the government (U.S. Treasury, U.S. Mint, Federal Reserve Board, U.S. Secret Service, FBI) are involved in the supply, distribution, storage, and security of U.S. currency, coins, and other market transactions and clearing transactions.

(U//LES) DHS Railroad Yards Vulnerabilities and Terrorist Indicators Reports

Railroad yards can be located in any type of environment having a flat area sufficiently extensive and elongated to permit emplacement of intermodal loading tracks, sorting “humps,” classification “bowls,” or any combination thereof. Thus, yard properties may be sited in open plains or adjacent to hills or other high ground (Figure 3). In the latter case, there may be vulnerabilities to adversaries using longer range, stand-off weapons. Trains are put together in the classification yard, which is comprised of multiple parallel tracks branching out from a central track and connected by switches. Each of the parallel tracks is designated to receive cars with particular destinations along the route. A special locomotive, or switch engine, transports each car or group of cars to its assigned track. Depending on the sensitivity of the shipment and the type of classification yard, cars may be either “shoved to rest” or “humped.” If shoved to rest, the car remains attached to the engine until it couples with the adjacent car. If humped, the car is uncoupled at the top of a very gentle incline and allowed to travel freely downhill.

(U//LES) DHS Nuclear Power Plants Characteristics and Common Vulnerabilities Reports

A nuclear power plant is an arrangement of components used to generate electric power. Nuclear power plants used in the United States (U.S.) are either boiling water reactors (BWRs) or pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Boiling water reactors (Figure 1) use a direct cycle in which water boils in the reactor core to produce steam, which drives a steam turbine. This turbine spins a generator to produce electric power. Pressurized water reactors (Figure 2) use an indirect cycle in which water is heated under high pressure in the reactor core and passes through a secondary heat exchanger to convert water in another loop to steam, which in turn drives the turbine. In the PWR design, radioactive water/steam never contacts the turbine. Except for the reactor itself, there is very little difference between a nuclear power plant and a coal- or oil-fired power plant.

(U//FOUO) DoE-DHS Energy Sector Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan

In its role as Energy SSA, DOE has worked closely with dozens of government and industry security partners to prepare this 2007 Energy SSP. Much of that work was conducted through the Sector Coordinating Councils (SCC) for electricity and for oil and natural gas, as well as through the Energy Government Coordinating Council (GCC). The electricity SCC represents more than 95 percent of the electric industry and the oil and natural gas SCC represents more than 98 percent of its industry. The GCC, co—chaired by DHS and DOE, represents all levels of government—Federal, State, local, and tribal-that are concerned with the Energy Sector.

(U//FOUO) DHS Independence Day 2010 Awareness Note

(U//FOUO) The Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center (HITRAC) produces Infrastructure Protection Notes to provide information on risks impacting the critical infrastructure community including terrorist threats, natural hazards, and other events. This IP Note is a joint publication of the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) Homeland Counterterrorism Division and the Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP), and is designed to
promote security awareness and to identify actions that the critical infrastructure community can take to mitigate risks to the Nation’s critical infrastructure. As an update to the 26 May 2010 IP Note: Preparing for an Evolving Terrorist Threat, this IP Note serves as a reminder for the critical infrastructure community to remain vigilant during the 4 July 2010 Independence Day holiday.