Texas cyber attack report: Mulshoe was target of Russian hackers | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

According to the city, the suspected cyberattack caused a water tank to overflow between 30 and 45 minutes.

MULESHOE, Texas — A small Texas town and its water supply may have been the target of a Russian cyberattack. That’s according to a noted cybersecurity firm.

The target — the town of Muleshoe in the Texas Panhandle. The suspected attack took place in January and caused a water tank to overflow between 30 and 45 minutes before officials took it offline. 

Editor’s note: Information from this story is from CNN

The Mulshoe water incident was detailed in a report done by the cybersecurity firm Mandiant. According to the report, a Russian intelligence unit was working with an online persona called “Cyber Army of Russia_Reborn,” which claimed responsibility, according to CNN.

So why was a small Texas town with a population of around 5,000 people the target?

“It’s a great question,” said cybersecurity expert Gus Serino, who focuses on the vulnerability of public water systems.

Serino said small towns like Mulshoe may be easy targets.

“An organization may think we’re kind of too small, we’re not a high enough strategic value for some nation-state adversary to come after us,” Serino told CNN. “However, victims are finding that they are affected simply because of the technology that they have that’s sitting unprotected on the internet and findable and exploitable.”

Authorities said there was also suspicious activity around public water systems in three other West Texas cities — Abernathy, Hale Center and Lockney.

Lockney’s city manager Buster Poling told CNN his town made security changes to prevent a hack. He also told CNN he’s not surprised.

“Just small town water system, unfortunately, is a prime target for a hacker or a terrorist, some sort of terrorist activity,” he said. “That’s been…we’ve known that for years.”

While the suspected attack didn’t cause big damage in Mulshoe, experts fear attacks in the future could be worse. CNN reports that last month, the White House and EPA told governors they need to step up protection for water and wastewater threats.

You can read CNN’s full report here.

Where is Mulshoe, Texas?

Mulshoe is a town in the Texas Panhandle around 70 miles northwest of Lubbock. Below is a map.


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