Foreign Hackers Terrorize American Water Companies


( – Now more than ever before, governmental agencies are looking to step up their cybersecurity. The unfortunate truth is that strides in technological advancement have made it easier for bad actors to carry out nefarious plans online. Worse, many such attacks come from foreign governments seeking to gain access to sensitive information.

Several of these dangerous hacks recently targeted American water companies using Israeli-owned components, and have led to a federal investigation.

On Saturday, November 25, the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa in Pennsylvania confirmed that an Iranian-backed group called Cyber Av3ngers, hacked a booster station responsible for monitoring and regulating water for the Potter and Raccoon Townships. These overseas hackers managed to breach and disable the station’s control panel, owned by Israeli company Unitronics.

The chairman of the authority, Matthew Mottes, made it clear there was no risk to the townships’ supply or drinking water, as bypassing the technology did not give access to the chemicals. State police were prompted to open an investigation, however, which was later turned over to federal authorities, including the FBI, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security.

This wasn’t the only recent incident. According to a report by POLITICO, two people, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the federal government was investigating additional breaches of the same nature.

Anonymous sources claimed that several water companies across the US had recently been targeted. A common denominator appeared to be the systems parts or software from Israel used in the execution of these crimes.

The future outlook for this situation – and national cybersecurity, in general – is less than optimistic. Washington has predicted that Iran may attack US companies in the face of escalating tensions due to the Hamas-Israel war. It may be worth mentioning that US troops stationed on bases in the Middle East have also come under attack.

Generally speaking, relations between the US and Iran have been contentious for many years. While the two nations came together under former President Barack Obama’s tenure to create a nuclear deal, former commander-in-chief Donald Trump later withdrew from the arrangement.

Although current POTUS Joe Biden has attempted to draw Iran back to the negotiating table, efforts to do so have proven fruitless.

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