States and Congress wrestle with cybersecurity at water utilities amid renewed federal warnings following Aliquippa hacking | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

FILE – This photo provided by the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa shows the screen of a Unitronics device that was hacked in Aliquippa, Pa., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. The hacked device was in a pumping booster station owned by the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa. An electronic calling card left by the hackers suggests they picked their target because it uses components made by an Israeli company. (Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa via AP)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The hacking of a municipal water authority in Aliquippa is prompting new warnings from U.S. security officials as states and the federal government are wrestling with how to harden water utilities against hackers. Officials say the danger is hackers gaining control of automated equipment to shut down pumps that supply drinking water or contaminate drinking water by reprogramming automated chemical treatments. The efforts took on new urgency in 2021 when the federal government’s leading cybersecurity agency reported five attacks on water authorities over two years, four of them by ransomware and a fifth by a former employee. Potentially hostile geopolitical rivals such as Iran and China are viewed by U.S. officials as a threat.


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