DANGER: ‘Additional Action Is Critical’

(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – In a recent statement that caused Americans concern, a critical warning was issued regarding more frequent and intense cyberattacks targeting water utilities and their infrastructure.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asserted that private and state-backed actors from countries such as China, Iran and Russia are ramping up their efforts to interfere with water utilities’ operations.

Shockingly, about 70% of the water facilities reviewed by federal officials over the past year failed to comply with essential security protocols designed to block unauthorized access.

EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe expressed concern over these findings and stated that in many cases, systems are not doing what they are supposed to be doing, which is to have completed a risk assessment of their vulnerabilities, including cybersecurity.

The agency also highlighted that numerous water utility systems are not meeting even the most fundamental cybersecurity standards. Examples of such lapses include not changing default passwords and not revoking access to systems from former employees.

According to the agency, the severity of the threat has escalated to the point where “additional action is critical.”

Given that water utility systems largely depend on digital controls, a significant breach could cripple their ability to supply drinking water or handle wastewater.

Likewise, it is believed that some global powers have infiltrated various utilities worldwide, implanting malware that could be activated during a crisis to impair an adversary.

For instance, one group linked to China, known as the Volt Typhoon, has already infiltrated crucial computer systems within American infrastructure, including the water sector.

Moreover, the landscape of American water utilities is diverse, with large providers serving significant populations and numerous smaller ones catering to smaller communities. These smaller entities often lack the resources to robustly fortify their systems against cyber threats.

Nevertheless, the EPA is stepping up, offering utilities free assistance to strengthen their defenses. They suggest that even basic measures, like avoiding default passwords, can significantly enhance security.

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