How safe is our water supply in the tri-state area? Kane In Your Corner asks some of the big water companies

Cybersecurity expert and author Scott Schober says there's been a rise in cyberattacks by hackers targeting U.S. utility companies.

Walt Kane

Jul 8, 2024, 9:49 AM

Updated 10 days ago

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In recent years, there's been a surge in cyberattacks aimed at water systems. News 12's senior investigative reporter Walt Kane looks at the threat and what area water systems are doing about it.
“You've been hacked.” This was the frightening message sent by a group of cyber-terrorists based in Iran to a water company in Pennsylvania.
The Aliquippa Water Authority says alarms went off as soon as the attack happened, and the water supply was never at risk. But experts say this could be a sign of things to come.
Cybersecurity expert and author Scott Schober says there's been a rise in cyberattacks by hackers targeting U.S. utility companies.
“They're targeting these systems and they're causing havoc. And for all of us that's really scary because we're dependent on water,” Schober said. “These are elite hacker groups that are sponsored and supported with endless funds to really go in and cause mischief throughout the entire U.S. infrastructure.”
The Biden administration is taking the attack seriously. In March, the Environmental Protection Agency sent letters to water companies across the U.S., warning that "cyberattacks have the potential to disrupt the critical lifeline of clean and safe drinking water."

Is there a risk in the tri-state area?

Kane in Your Corner reached out to several of the big water companies in the tri-state area to ask how prepared they are for cyberthreats.
American Water says it "has a dedicated team of certified professionals who help maintain the cybersecurity of our informational and operational technology systems."
A spokesperson for Middlesex Water agrees and said, "We've increased monitoring to detect anomalies and escalate patching to address vulnerabilities. They added, “We've raised the priority of projects that help harden our infrastructure.”
Still, experts say with nearly 150,000 public water systems scattered across the U.S., this is a threat that's not likely to go away anytime soon.
Do you know something that needs to be investigated? You can get Kane In Your Corner by calling 201-765-kane or emailing KaneInYourCorner@news12.com.


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