[ISN] Security scare puts Pa. power plants on alert

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed May 22 2002 - 02:04:55 PDT

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    [Its a little odd this is buried in the investor section of CNet, but 
    then again, why worry everyone further than they are now. This is just 
    the kind of news I want to hear about, and if this story, sketchy that 
    it is, is true, I feel these guards should be rewarded somehow for 
    keeping alert and chasing off these two. 
    My sister, who works in downtown Chicago is rather freaked (as is most
    anyone working in the city) about having to take the train in, and
    then walk past large Chicago landmarks (The Sears Tower) to her
    office. As I point out to her on a regular basis, if it doesn't look
    normal (Not much of anything in a major metropolitan city is normal
    anyways) to point this out to the local beat cops, building security
    or the FBI.
    Someone videotapping the Sears Tower at 9am on a Monday is likely
    harmless, if they are there again the next day at the same time, and
    same place with a video camera, that is not normal, and should be 
    pointed out to someone.
    This is the kind of vigilance that is needed to keep attacks from 
    happening in Chicago, the U.S. or anywhere else terrorism is a 
    problem. -  William Knowles   5-22-02]
    5/21/02 5:45 PM
    Source: Reuters  
    NEW YORK, May 21 (Reuters) - Alarms sounded at Pennsylvania power
    plants this weekend, already on heightened alert after the Sept. 11
    attacks, when two "Middle Eastern-looking" men unsuccessfully tried to
    enter a rural power plant, industry officials said on Tuesday.
    The two men, who told authorities they were contractors, fled from the
    Westwood power plant not far from the state capital of Harrisburg when
    guards asked them for identification before allowing them inside.
    The guards immediately notified local police, the FBI and PJM, the
    regional power grid operator.
    The rural, natural gas-fired power plant, owned by WPS Resources
    Corp., is about 35 miles (56 km) north of the state capital of
    State and federal agencies said they either had not heard of or
    declined to comment on the episode. Local police said they could
    provide no information on the mens' identities or whereabouts. An FBI
    spokeswoman declined to confirm whether they had even been told of the
    "We are cooperating fully with local authorities and the FBI," said
    Jim Streed, spokesman for plant owner WPS.
    A spokesman for the PJM power grid said they alerted local utilities
    and plant operators to the incident as soon as they heard about it.
    "We got the notice from WPS and sent it out to our other power plant
    and utility members," Ray Dotter, the PJM spokesman, said.
    Dotter said they also notified the National Infrastructure Protection
    Center, a branch of the FBI that deals with the nation's energy,
    telecommunications and water infrastructure.
    A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Governor's Office said the State
    Office of Homeland Security was not aware of the incident and had not
    seen any security memo on the subject.
    But memos of the episode describing the men as "Middle Eastern in
    origin" were circulated among the region's power traders and control
    room operators.
    Power plants nationwide have been on a heightened state of alert since
    the Sept. 11 hijacked airplane attacks on the Pentagon and New York
    Earlier Tuesday, the FBI warned New Yorkers of "general threats"  
    against the city, its bridges and other landmarks.
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