Cyber Criminals Target US Water Infrastructure

Hackers associated with Iran and China are focusing their efforts on vital water sector infrastructure within the United States. According to a communication addressed to governors, Michael Regan, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor to the president, have warned that destructive cyber assaults are actively targeting water and wastewater facilities across the nation.

According to Health News, “Drinking water and wastewater systems are a lifeline for communities, but many systems have not adopted important cybersecurity practices to thwart potential cyberattacks,” they wrote.

The attacks against U.S. water infrastructure have the potential to disrupt the critical lifeline of clean and safe drinking water, at the same time imposing significant costs on affected communities, according to the EPA.

Threat actors affiliated with the Iranian Government Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have targeted and disabled operational technology in facilities that had neglected to change a default manufacturer password.

China’s state-sponsored cyber group, Volt Typhoon, has compromised the information technology of multiple drinking water systems in the US.

The group is pre-positioning itself to disrupt critical infrastructure during geopolitical tensions and/or military conflicts, according to the assessment from federal departments and agencies.

In a meeting held on Thursday, environmental, health, and homeland security officials discussed ways to ensure the nation’s water sector is resilient to all threats and hazards.

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