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Critical Infrastructure News

A Bellingham woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to a terrorist attack and violence against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway in northwestern Washington that investigators have suggested was motivated by opposition to the construction of a natural gas pipeline across British Columbia.

Samantha Frances Brooks and Ellen Brennan Reiche were each indicted with one count of terrorist attacks and other violence against a railroad carrier Dec. 9, 2020, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle.

They’re accused of putting a shunt on tracks near Bellingham in late November. Such devices consist of a wire strung across the tracks, mimicking the electrical signal of a train. The devices can cause trains to automatically brake and can disable railroad crossing guards, investigators have said.

Read more: AP News

Since Jan. 19, 2020, the FBI in Washington has been investigating at least 41 incidents of eco-sabotage, specifically direct action against railways and rail lines connected to oil production.

In one instance on Dec. 22, a train got derailed and caught on fire in Custer, Washington, near the Canadian border and about an hour or so away from Seattle, as The Guardian reported. 

This was regarded as the most serious eco-sabotage incident in recent memory as the damage resulted in 29,000 gallons of crude oil being spilled and the evacuation of 120 people nearby, NTSB reported.

During that time, about a dozen eco-sabotage incidents took place.

Read more: The Hill

Researchers with cybersecurity company SentinelOne reconstructed the recent cyberattack on Iran's train system in a new report, uncovering a new threat actor -- which they named 'MeteorExpresss' -- and a never-before-seen wiper.

On July 9, local news outlets began reporting on a cyberattack targeting the Iranian train system, with hackers defacing display screens in train stations by asking passengers to call '64411', the phone number of Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei's office. 

Train services were disrupted and just one day later, hackers took down the website of Iran's transport ministry. According to Reuters, the ministry's portal and sub-portal sites went down after the attack targeted computers at the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development

Read more: ZD Net