US Region’s Water Systems Hit By Reported Cyberattack

Apr 21, 2024

At least one in a series of January attacks on three small town’s water supplies in Texas was attributed to Russian hackers, Newsmax reported Thursday.

Three small towns in the Texas Panhandle were hit with cyberattacks earlier this year, with one of those incidents causing water systems to overflow. No one was put in danger throughout the events but it highlights a serious threat to domestic safety.

“There were 37,000 attempts in four days to log in to our firewall,” Hale Center city manager Mike Cypert said of the situation. The hacks failed and the city officials were able to unplug the system and operate manually. Cypert’s town is home to around 2,000 people, none of whom were impacted.

About 60 miles west in the town of Muleshoe, home to around 5,000, hackers forced the water system to overflow before workers were able to shut it down and run the system manually. “”The incident was quickly addressed and resolved,” city manager Ramon Sanchez said in a statement. “The city’s water disinfectant system was not affected, and the public water system nor the public was in any danger.” (LEARN MORE: GOP Targets Chinese Military Aggression With New Bill)

Who Did This?

Newsmax reported that at least one of the attacks was linked to a Russian hacker group, or “hacktivist” group, citing a U.S. cybersecurity firm called Mandiant. The group claimed responsibility for the attacks and similar attacks in Poland.

Similar attacks were conducted in 2023. These were attributed to Iranian state groups that apparently said they were targeting facilities that use Israeli equipment. (LEARN MORE: The AP Finds 63% Doubt Biden’s Mental Capacity)

“Drinking water and wastewater systems are an attractive target for cyberattacks because they are a lifeline critical infrastructure sector but often lack the resources and technical capacity to adopt rigorous cybersecurity practices,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan and assistant to the president for National Security Affairs Jake Sullivan wrote in a March letter to U.S. governors.

What Can You Do Today?

Did you know that you, your family, and friends can send letters directly to your elected officials today? We can tell your leaders what you want from their time in office, and what you expect from our federal government. Letter-writing campaigns, or even just a single letter, can be enough to sway policy and prompt investigations or protections to be enacted.

Foreign enemies will target us on a local and state level. Who protects you at home?

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