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Critical Infrastructure News

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) developed a four-product de-escalation series for critical infrastructure owners and operators to:

  1. Recognize the warning signs for someone on a path to violence, identify stressors, changes in baseline behavior, and observable behavioral indicators.
  2. Assess the situation to protect personal safety and the safety of those around you. Identify what an escalating person may look like and warning signs. It is important to create a holistic assessment of the person of concern’s circumstances and stressors; this begins with awareness of one’s self, precipitating events or stressors, and the situation unfolding.
  3. De-escalate the situation currently taking place if safe to do so. Individuals are encouraged to use purposeful actions, verbal techniques, and body language to calm a potentially dangerous situation.  Safety is the highest priority, know your limits, and obtain help immediately if needed.
  4. Report the situation through organizational reporting to enable assessment and management of an evolving threat, and 9-1-1 for immediate threats.

According to CISA, the De-Escalation Series for Critical Infrastructure Owners and Operators follows the Employee Vigilance Through the Power of Hello to help critical infrastructure owners, operators, and staff identify and navigate suspicious activity or potentially escalating situations to safely dis-engage and report to local law enforcement or their organization’s multi-disciplinary threat management team.

Read more: Security Mag

Like many ravaging storms that came before it, Hurricane Ida exposed the fragility of Louisiana’s power grid, knocking out electricity to hundreds of thousands of people and businesses, including nearly all of New Orleans. It also laid bare growing doubts about the ability of the state’s largest energy provider to protect against the effects of climate change, including the increasingly destructive weather it causes.

The company, Entergy Corp., has told regulators and shareholders that it is committed to protecting the grid against extreme weather, having spent billions of dollars to upgrade towers, poles and lines.

But Entergy also has a history of resisting changes that would have made the electric grid more resilient, from developing new transmission lines to expanding solar power, according to an examination of regulatory filings and other public documents and interviews with industry researchers and clean-power proponents.

Read more: NBC News

The Port of Houston, a critical piece of infrastructure along the Gulf Coast, issued a statement Thursday saying it had successfully defended against an attempted hack in August and “no operational data or systems were impacted.”

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly initially disclosed that the port was the target of an attack at a Senate committee hearing Thursday morning. She said she believed a “nation-state actor” was behind the hack, but did not say which one.

“We are working very closely with our interagency partners and the intelligence community to better understand this threat actor so that we can ensure that we are not only able to protect systems, but ultimately to be able to hold these actors accountable,” she said.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said the hack was “concerning” and said the U.S. needed to “push back against these nation-state actors who continue to probe and to commit these crimes against our public and private sector entities.”

Read more: NBC News

The “If You See Something, Say Something®” campaign works with partners year-round to empower and educate the public on suspicious activity and how to report it. The campaign has designated September 25 as “If You See Something, Say Something®” Awareness Day, also known as #SeeSayDay.

“If You See Something, Say Something®” is more than a slogan. It’s how we protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. You play a key role by recognizing and reporting suspicious activity.  This September, we encourage you to build awareness in your community about what suspicious activity is and how to report it.

Read more: DHS.gov

China on Friday escalated its crackdown on cryptocurrency trading, issuing a nationwide ban on crypto mining and reiterating that all virtual currencies were considered illegal in the country.

In a joint statement published by China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, 10 government agencies vowed to “resolutely clamp down” on the industry in the name of national security and social stability.

“Virtual currency does not have the same legal status as legal currency,” it said, naming cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDT. The notice said it was illegal for any overseas exchange to provide trading services to investors in China via the Internet, reiterating regulators’ previous position. Bitcoin shares dropped as much as 5 percent on Friday following the announcement.

Another notice released on Friday by China’s National Development and Reform Commission banned all crypto mining as part of China’s pledges to reduce carbon emissions to meet climate change goals. Bans were previously ordered by individual provinces.

Read more: Washington Post