A Perfect Target for Cybercriminals

In Environment On

 

When hackers went after the Onslow Water and Sewer Authority last month, it was the second cyberattack on a North Carolina utility within a year. The hackers, who timed this attack for the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, caused “a catastrophic loss” by encrypting databases and locking out employees. Rather than pay a ransom to the hackers, the utility is rebuilding its information technology systems from scratch.

We need water for everything from cooking to manufacturing. Technological advances that make our water supply smarter — automating chemical treatment, for example, or enabling electronic billing — also make it more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, more than 150,000 systems deliver clean water to Americans and dispose of wastewater. Drinking water is delivered by more than a million miles of pipes — four times the length of the national highway system. The New York City government controls America’s largest single-source water supply — a reservoir system supplying 1.2 billion gallons of water a day — and the city’s Department of Environmental Protection employs nearly 200 officers to protect the system.

Each water system is operated by its own industrial control system, which in most cases evolved over decades with a hodgepodge of functions and technologies layered on top of older infrastructure. For example, water can travel up to 125 miles within New York City’s system before it reaches a faucet. Along the way, it’s disinfected with chlorine and then slowed down to pass through 56 containers holding ultraviolet lights in quartz tubes. The water gets fluoride to protect teeth and phosphoric acid to protect the distribution pipes. Throughout the process, a centralized computer system gathers data and creates detailed projections.

Read full article

You may also read!

Nancy Pelosi’s Coat Catches Fire

  After #PantsuitNation, #CoatCountry? It’s a strong possibility, given

Read More...

Mobile Sliding Menu

Common Ground
We don’t need to search any further for common ground in our country. We have it.
We all want the same things – a safe, prosperous, free, democratic nation with opportunity for all. At the same time, we will all be harmed if our democracy, our free press, our Constitution and our core American values are threatened. We will all certainly be harmed if reckless behavior triggers any number of potential armed conflicts.

None of us know how this will all play out so let's make a deal. Let’s get up to speed on the issues, establish some facts, take action and watch what happens together . . .