Water Infrastructure Cybersecurity
Officials from several western states are looking into the future of their water supplies because of the historic drought hitting almost the entire region. California state senator Melissa Hurtado says it may sound like something from a spy movie, but officials need to upgrade their cyber-infrastructure to help protect the state’s shrinking water supply.
Hurtado… “Part of looking at the future of water is examining some of the weaknesses and vulnerabilities we face. We know and have a good understanding of how water shortages and drought make our state vulnerable. We haven't discussed how we're vulnerable from a cybersecurity perspective. There have been reports that show the number of attempted attacks on the cyber networks of our utilities has increased substantially.”
Hurtado says cyber-attacks on water infrastructure are becoming more common.
Hurtado… “One of those attacks occurred last year and highlighted the risk water and water treatment plants are facing. In this attack, the hackers targeted a chemical treatment of a drinking water plant in the Bay Area. Fortunately, staff at the plant noticed the increases and managed to reverse them before it was too late or caused any harm. A similar attack took place in Florida, and a third happened in New York. This time, though, the hackers infiltrated the cyber infrastructure of a dam.”
The senator warned that hackers that get control of a state’s water supply could cause serious damage up and down the pipeline.