Source: Seattle Times
PUYALLUP Three Tacoma-area power substations were vandalized early Christmas morning, officials said Sunday, cutting off power to more than 14,000 people in eastern Pierce County.
The Pierce County Sherriffs Department is investigating whether the incidents were coordinated and whether they could be connected to a string of recent attacks on power substations around the country by right-wing extremists.
Sgt. Darren Moss Jr. said the department received a burglary call at a Tacoma Power substation in Spanaway shortly after 5 a.m. When deputies arrived, they saw forced entry and vandalized equipment that caused a loss of power. A Tacoma Power substation in Graham revealed a similar scene: forced entry and damaged equipment.
The department also received a call from Puget Sound Energy later Sunday morning advising of another power outage at 2:39 a.m. from a third facility in Puyallup. Deputies at that scene said the facility had been broken into and vandalized. That outage lasted around 30 minutes and power has since been restored, said Moss.
Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/tacoma-power-says-2-substations-attacked-christmas-day/
But on some online message boards and platforms, the tone was celebratory. I love waking up to great news, wrote one user on Gab, a platform popular with far-right groups. Other users on the site called for more violence.
The hate isnt limited to fringe sites.
[...]I dont think people understand the state of danger that were living in right now, said Jay Brown, senior vice president at the Human Rights Campaign and a transgender man. A lot of that is happening online, and online threats are turning into threats of real violence offline.
Need total number of changes from male to female and female to male for the last 24 months, broken down by month, the chief of the DPS driver license division emailed colleagues in the department on June 30, according to a copy of a message obtained by The Washington Post through a public records request. We wont need DL/ID numbers at first but may need to have them later if we are required to manually look up documents.
After more than 16,000 such instances were identified, DPS officials determined that a manual search would be needed to determine the reason for the changes, DPS spokesperson Travis Considine told The Post in response to questions.
WTF Texas? Why do you need this information? I fear it's more than who uses what bathroom.
The attacks on so-called gender ideology have grown in recent years throughout the world, dominating public debate stoked by electronic networks and backed by extensive rightwing Catholic and evangelical organizations. Although not always in accord, these groups concur that the traditional family is under attack, that children in the classroom are being indoctrinated to become homosexuals, and that gender is a dangerous, if not diabolical, ideology threatening to destroy families, local cultures, civilization, and even man himself.
[...]One could go on at length to explain the various methodologies and debates within gender studies, the complexity of scholarship, and the recognition it has received as a dynamic field of study throughout the world, but that would require a commitment to education on the part of the reader and listener. Given that most of these opponents refuse to read any material that might contradict their beliefs or cherrypick from complex texts to support a caricature, how is one to proceed?
Still others claim that the very concept of gender is an attack on Christianity (or, in some countries, traditional Islam), and accuse the proponents of gender of discriminating against their religious beliefs. And yet, the significant field of gender and religion suggests that the enemies do not come from the outside, and that the dogma is to be found on the side of the censors.
An expert in countering online hate has suggested that the community take Aldrichs non-binary identity in stride in order to avoid the division and distrust the suspected shooter may be trying to create.
The Tuesday after the November 19 shooting, Aldrichs lawyers said that their client is non-binary. Anderson Aldrich is non-binary. They use they/them pronouns, and for the purposes of all formal filings, will be addressed as Mx. Aldrich, they wrote. Aldrich is facing 305 charges after allegedly killing five people and injuring at least 19 more
[...]Xavier Kraus, a former neighbor of Aldrich, said that Aldrich regularly used anti-LGBTQ+ slurs. Kraus said he believed Aldrich claimed to be non-binary as a total troll on the community and a total troll on the system. He said Aldrich never mentioned being non-binary nor used they/them pronouns in his company when he lived next door to Aldrich from August 2021 to September 2022.
The attacks in the Pacific north-west come just days after a similar assault on North Carolina power stations that cut electricity to 40,000 people.
As first reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting and KUOW Public Radio, there have been at least six attacks, some of which involved firearms and caused residents to lose power. Two of the attacks shared similarities with the incident in Moore county, North Carolina, where two stations were hit by gunfire. Authorities have not yet revealed a motive for the North Carolina attack.
Concerns grew further after Duke Energy Corp. reported gunfire near its Wateree Hydro station in Ridgeway, S.C., on Wednesday several days after gunshots severely damaged two substations the company operates in Moore County, N.C. (Energywire, Dec. 7).
The incidents in the Carolinas followed attacks at six substations in Oregon and Washington in October and November. Local news outlets reported on those events this week. Grid security experts said its too early to tell whether the incidents were related or unusual in number, but said they showcase a need for the energy industry to be vigilant and prepared.
Search warrants issued, FBI applies to retrieve cell phone records in search of power grid attack su
The FBI has also applied for a Federal Order to retrieve cell phone records to identify people in the area of the substations on Saturday night.
[...]"Targets of potential violence include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media and perceived ideological opponents," according to the bulletin.
[...]The outage impacted nearly every Duke Energy customer in Moore County and included people who depend on electricity for medical purposes, whether at home or in nursing facilities. One person died during the outage, but officials have not yet confirmed the death was due to power loss.
Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said earlier this week that police have not found evidence connecting the attacks to the drag performance that began shortly before the power went out, nor have they released a motive. However, authorities are considering the timing overlap and recent attacks on similar events nationwide as they proceed with their investigation.
[...]Their concerns are shared by federal officials who have been on high alert in the weeks after a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and wounding 17 others.
In a national terrorism advisory bulletin issued last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned that the LGBTQ community and critical infrastructure may be targets of violence as domestic extremists and foreign terrorist organizations encourage online supporters to carry out attacks.
At least 70,772 websites are using a Twitter advertising tool called a pixel to send the company information about every person who visits their sites, even people who dont have Twitter accounts, according to a bombshell new report from Adalytics, an ad tech firm. The list includes the websites of government agenciesthe Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Department of Educations student aid portalFortune 500 behemothsAmazon, General Motors, Pfizerand health care companies like WebMD and UnitedHealth Group. General Motors, Pfizer, and other companies that claimed they pulled their ads from Twitter after Musks takeover continued to send Twitter data using the advertising Pixel.
By sending data to Twitter, organizations may be putting themselves and their visitors at serious risk. Twitter has a lengthy history of data breaches, infiltration by foreign governments, and fines for security issues by the FTC. Most recently, Twitters former head of security resigned and filed a whistleblower complaint accusing the company of disastrous security practicesand that was before Elon Musk laid off over half of Twitters staff, including swaths of its security team. Among a host of other tech companies that collect data using similar means, that makes Twitter particularly concerning.
The report also finds that many websites havent taken the proper precautions to avoid cyber threats known as a supply chain and code injection attacks, which could allow websites to be hijacked if Twitter was compromised. Thats an even bigger issue due to Twitters history of security problems and apparent lack of engineering staff. In such attacks, third party tools are compromised and used to infiltrate an organizations systems, a serious threat when youre talking about Fortune 500 companies or FBI.gov. Its unlikely, but this kind of attack has happened before, and a similar mechanism led to the SolarWinds hack which compromised much of the US government and private sector.