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Did Iranian Hackers Hit a Pennsylvania Water System? | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


(TNS) — The Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa revealed Saturday that one of their booster stations had been hacked and partially controlled by a cyber guerilla group tied to the Iranian government, according to news reports.

Confirming the hack to KDKA, Matthew Motes, the chairman of the board of directors for the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa, said that the group, known as Cyber Av3ngers, took control of one of the stations.

The hacking ring shut down a pump on a supply line that provides drinking water from the Aliquippa Municipal Water Authority’s treatment plant to Raccoon and Potter townships in Beaver County.


As soon as the hack had occurred, an alarm sounded, the Beaver Countain reported.

Also confirming the hack was a haunting message that appeared that appeared on the system’s control panel after the pump had been taken over, reading, “You have been hacked. Down with Israel. Every equipment ‘made with Israel’ is Cyber Av3ngers legal target.”

The machine that was hacked by the cyber group uses a system called Unitronics, which uses software or has components that are Israeli-owned, KDKA reported.

Aliquippa municipal workers managed to disable the system and authorities were called to the booster station Saturday. Now the incident is under criminal investigation.

Back-up methods are now being applied to maintain water pressure to communities, the Beaver Countain reported.

“They did not get access to anything in our actual water treatment plant – or other parts of our system – other than a pump that regulates pressure to elevated areas of our system,” Mottes told the outlet. “This pump has its own computer network, separated from our primary network, and is physically miles away.”

The network also serviced multiple security cameras.

“The booster system did what it was supposed to. It sent an alarm and we took control manually. Nobody was ever at risk,” he added.

Congressman Chris Deluzio said in a statement on Facebook Sunday that he is monitoring the situation.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, the Cyber Av3ngers have taken responsibility for multiple attacks worldwide, including 10 water treatment stations in Israel as of Oct. 30, 2023.

© 2023 Advance Local Media LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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