First Drone Attack on US Energy Infrastructure Unveiled


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Critical infrastructure is often protected by fences and other barriers, but are these sufficient against drones? 

US officials believe that a DJI Mavic 2, a small quadcopter-type drone, with a thick copper wire attached underneath it via nylon cords was likely at the center of an attempted attack on a power substation in Pennsylvania last year. 

If the wire had come into contact with high-voltage equipment it could have caused a short circuit, equipment failures and possibly fires.

This has been revealed in an internal report from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and National Counterterrorism Center. According to the report, cited by, the incident is the first known use of a drone to target energy infrastructure in the US. The drone crashed without causing damage.

The device is similar in concept to ”blackout bombs” used by the US Air Force, which have no explosive but scatter masses of conductive filaments over electrical equipment. These were used to shut down 70 percent of Serbia’s electricity generation capacity in 1999 during the Kosovo war.

The report assesses that such incidents are likely to become more commonplace as time goes on.

Interested in learning more about critical infrastructure vulnerabilities? Attend INNOTECH 2021 Cyber, HLS, and Innovation Event at Expo Tel Aviv, Nov. 17-18.