Iranian-Backed Cyber Group Hacks Water Booster Station In Pennsylvania

Sunday, 11/26/2023

The Aliquippa Municipal Water Authority in Pennsylvania revealed one of its booster stations had fallen victim to a cyber-attack by an Iranian-backed group.

Matthew Mottes, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Municipal Water Authority, disclosed to KDKA-TV that the hacking group, identified as Cyber Av3ngers, successfully took control of the station, setting off an immediate alarm.

The station, located on the outskirts of Aliquippa, plays a crucial role in managing pressure for Raccoon and Potter Townships. Mottes sought to allay public fears by affirming that, as of now, there is no identified risk to the drinking water or water supply.

The compromised system operated on a Unitronics platform, with Mottes highlighting the ownership of certain software or components by Israel. Subsequent to the breach, the system has been deactivated, and the Pennsylvania State Police have been called in to conduct a thorough criminal investigation at the booster station.

CyberAv3ngers has claimed responsibility for a series of global cyber assaults including on Iran’s archenemy Israel. As of October 30, their X page detailed attacks on ten water treatment stations in Israel in the midst of the Gaza war.

In September, the group claimed involvement in an alleged cyberattack targeting Israel's railroad network, disclosing sensitive information about its electrical infrastructure.

However, the railway operator refuted the occurrence of any cyberattack. The hacktivist collective also took credit for disabling the website of Israel's largest oil refinery, BAZAN Group in July, accompanied by the release of purported screenshots depicting the company's internal systems.

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