The Justice Department will soon release a statement blaming Iranian hackers for a 2013 cyberattack on a dam near New York City, according to CNN, which also reported that the department will bring an indictment against the suspected hackers.
Officials believe the hackers were working for the Iranian government at the time of the attack, unidentified sources said.
Intelligence officials discovered that hackers had managed to get control of floodgates at the Bowman Avenue Dam in Rye Brook, New York, about 20 miles north of New York City in 2013.
The dam is used for flood control, Rye Brook Mayor Paul Rosenburg told CNN.
“I think one of the great things here is that the federal government stepped in and stopped what could have been something bad from happening,” Rosenberg said. “We appreciate that, but it makes me wonder about what would be potentially next, and that makes me concerned. I think in this day and age all municipalities needs to look at our infrastructure and see where are our soft targets, where should we be prepared.”
Although no damage was done, the concern is the attack may have been a test run, and that it simply is a sign of what can be accomplished against more significant aging equipment – such as the power grid, CNN reported. Much of America’s infrastructure has “retro-fitted software” that is connected to the Internet, the network said.
Cybersecurity expert and former FBI agent Leo Taddeo said the attack should concern US officials because it was so simple. Officials also are wondering why such a minor piece of infrastructure was targeted by a foreign country.
“The fact that you can affect the infrastructure with stuff you can download off the Internet shouldn’t give us any comfort,” Taddeo said. It shows that “actors with very little skill” potentially can take down infrastructure.
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