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CISA Warns of Water, Wastewater Infrastructure Security Threats

1 min read
Lt. Col. Jody Ogle
Lt. Col. Jody Ogle Cybersecurity Adviser CISA

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the FBI issued a joint advisory warning that threat actors are targeting hardware and software that support drinking water and wastewater infrastructure operations. 

CISA said Thursday that malicious cyber threats to information and operational technology networks, systems and devices could affect the sector's potable water delivery wastewater management efforts.

The alert states that cybercriminals are spearphishing personnel, exploiting unsupported and outdated operating systems and software, and capitalizing on control system devices with vulnerable firmware in an attempt to compromise facilities.

In the advisory, CISA listed five cyber incidents that occurred within the water industry between March 2019 August 2021 and attributed sector-specific intrusions to vulnerabilities associated with insider threats from employees with improperly managed credentials and ransomware attacks.

To defend against such threats, the agency and its federal partners recommended operators to conduct monitoring and adopt various mitigation practices related to remote access, networks safety systems, and planning and operational processes.