Hot Rail Group Views

Rail Security and Safety comments from our CEO or staff

Guess who's looking now

Rich Gent - Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I was surfing on the web about the recent CSX oil tank train derailment in West Virginia.  I saw the normal news media, Fox, ABC, etc., but what I saw next shocked me.  Al Jazeera America, the Arabic language news media which is partly funded by the ruling family of Qatar was covering the story.  The news story basically had the same coverage as the U.S. news with pictures of the derailment and all the associated fireballs.  Now I'm wondering who in the Arabic world is looking at the conflagration and thinking outside the box and how rail could be used to further their cause through media coverage.  Just thinking who's looking at this.   Read Entire Article Here

Fear Mongoring

Rich Gent - Sunday, January 11, 2015
I was recently published in "Progressive Railroading" and "Rail Professional" magazines about open source intelligence.  The reason I am writing this is the day before the attacks in Paris I contacted the editor of Rail Professional (a U.K. magazine) because there was an article about MI-5 (U.K Intelligence) concerned about terrorism on their transportation system.  When I asked if there was any feedback to my article, the editor said "no" but a week after your article rail transportation security passed out flyers to the public on what to do in a terrorist situation.  The editor said there was pushback from the public that this was "fear mongering."  I got the same comments on "train orders" after my article on open source intelligence made it in "Progressive Railroading."  Well, folks the reality is that the bad guys understand the value of intelligence and will use every bit of information that is available to help fulfill their mission.  If their mission is to attack the rail infrastructure then guess what, they are pulling as much "intel" as possible from open sources.  And, we have a lot  out there for them.   Now, that I vented, how can rail enthusiasts help.   As I understand it, some do.   If you see something, hear something, read a blog post that doesn't seem right, report it.  Your tip to a law enforcement agency may be the one clue that could stop something bad from happening.   Don't let me cite this post after an attack on the rails and say the public thought it was "fear mongering."   

Rails and Domestic Terrorism

Guest Post - Sunday, August 03, 2014

 The Sovereign Citizen movement.  Read Entire Article Here

NSA Has It Right

Guest Post - Thursday, August 22, 2013

As a intelligence professional, I understand that NSA really doesn’t care what you do with your life as long as it does not deal with terrorism. Such is the case with the recent disclosure that, through monitoring of communications, NSA discovered that Al Qaeda is/was planning a terrorist attack on high speed trains in Europe.

 Read Entire Article Here

TSA Says “Active Again in the Near Future”

Guest Post - Tuesday, December 18, 2012

So, we just lost some more eyes and ears that could tell us about potential terrorist or criminal threats on one of our critical infrastructures. The “First Observer” program just lost funding by the TSA.

 Read Entire Article Here

Fox in the Hen House

Guest Post - Monday, May 14, 2012

Recently, Norfolk Southern announced that they will be joining the BNSF in a similar program to Citizen's for Rail Security (CRS). The NS program is called "Protect the Line (PTL)."

 Read Entire Article Here

As Plain as the Nose on Your Face

Guest Post - Saturday, February 25, 2012

We recently learned that Iranian intelligence agents were videotaping various infrastructures to include subway tunnels. So, now not only do we have to worry about third world terrorists, now we have to worry about professional intelligence officers.

 Read Entire Article Here

New TSA Chief on Transit Security

Guest Post - Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"Protecting riders on mass-transit systems from terrorist attacks will be as high a priority as ensuring safe air travel,"" the new TSA Chief told a reporter. Mr. John Pistole, the new TSA Chief and career FBI officer, also said "that some terrorists consider subway and rail cars an easier target than heavily secured planes."" He also noted that some terrorists groups see rail and subways as being more vulnerable because there’s not the type of screening that you find in aviation.

 Read Entire Article Here

Cyber Attack on the Rails

Guest Post - Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recently it was announced that “hackers, possibly from abroad, executed an attack on a Northwest rail company’s computers that disrupted railway signals for two days.” The railroads and TSA are saying that this was not a “dedicated” attack.

 Read Entire Article Here

Rail Cyber Attacks?

Guest Post - Friday, January 27, 2012

Recently a report came out stating that the TSA disclosed that "Hackers, possibly from abroad, executed an attack on a Northwest rail company’s computers that disrupted railway signals for two days." The railroads and the AAR are saying that this never happened.

 Read Entire Article Here

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