At least five attacks at electricity substations in the Pacific Northwest have been reported in recent weeks to the FBI.
The incidents come to light via a federal memo following a deliberate attack last week in Moore County, North Carolina, that left tens of thousands of people without power for days as seasonal temperatures fall.
In Washington state and Oregon, spokespeople for several energy companies – Puget Sound Energy, the Cowlitz County Public Utilities District and Bonneville Power Administration – confirmed the attacks occurred in November.
A federal law enforcement memo revealed that the Pacific Northwest substations have described attacks using ‘handtools, arson, firearms, and metal chains possibly in response to an online call for attacks on critical infrastructure.’
‘In recent attacks, criminal actors bypassed security fences by cutting the fence links, lighting nearby fires, shooting equipment from a distance or throwing objects over the fence and on to equipment,’ read the memo.