Late last year, reports began to surface that Iranian hackers had breached the control system of the 20-foot high Bowman Ave. Dam in Rye Brook, Westchester County, New York.
NBC News reported:
An Iranian hactivist group has claimed responsibility for a cyberattack that gave it access to the control system for a dam in the suburbs of New York — and intrusion that one official said may be ‘just the tip of the iceberg.’
The group, SOBH Cyber Jihad, sent a message through another Iran-linked hacker outfit, Parastoo, promising that it would release the technical information that proves it was behind the 2013 breach, according to Flashpoint Intelligence.
The hackers claimed they kept quiet about the attack for two years because of a “state-level” warning not to go public with it “for the greater good.”
Now, the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan may officially charge the Iranian government-backed hackers.
Via the New York Post:
The Justice Department is drawing up an indictment that lays blame for the 2013 cyber-attack against a dam in Westchester squarely on hackers working for the Iranian government, a law enforcement source confirmed to The Post.
The FBI has been investigating since the discovery of the breach, with the indictment expected to be handed down soon, the source said.
The hackers were unable to seize control of the Bowman Avenue Dam in the suburban town of Rye, but they were able to access an unspecified system, sources said.
At a time when cyber-intrusions of government agencies are becoming more frequent, the breach at the small dam led to great concern within the Obama administration, sources said.
Apparently, that “great concern” wasn’t enough to nix a nuclear deal with Iran.
At least one Senator has suggested that the Obama administration hid this cyber attack as a way to help push along the Iran nuclear agreement.
Via The Hill:
Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) on Thursday bashed President Obama for taking years to blame Iran for a 2013 cyberattack against a New York dam.
“It is downright shameful that it has taken President Obama three years to denounce Iran for a malicious cybersecurity attack on our country while at the same time sitting at a negotiating table with them,” Daines said in a statement.
According to reports, the Iranian hackers didn’t overtake the system but “probed” it, likely seeking out weaknesses.
The White House website currently lists the Obama administration’s top five priorities regarding cyber security, number one being:
- Protecting the country’s critical infrastructure — our most important information systems — from cyber threats.
In 2011, the administration announced a Cybersecurity Legislative Proposal, designed to “protect our national security by addressing threats to our power grids, water systems, and other critical infrastructure.”
Despite causing no discernible harm, the cyber attack did reveal information “about how computers running the flood control system worked.”
Rusty Weiss writes for Mental Recession.