EPA Warns Water Utilities Amid Heightened Cyberattacks On U.S.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) logo is displayed on a door at its headquarters on March 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for 2018 seeks to cut the EPA’s budget by 31 percent from $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:07 PM – Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a recent warning, stating that cyberattacks against water utilities nationwide have become more frequent and severe.

Advertisement

The agency also urged community water systems to take immediate action to minimize cybersecurity vulnerabilities and to safeguard the country’s public drinking water supplies.

In a news release on Monday, the EPA stated that it had sent out an enforcement alert outlining “urgent cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities” to community drinking water systems. The notice says that regulations in the Safe Drinking Water Act were broken by the vast majority of water systems evaluated by the EPA since last September, which was more than 70%.

According to the EPA, the Safe Drinking Water Act was created to safeguard public health by controlling public drinking water supplies across the nation.

The government had found “alarming” cyber security flaws in a few of the water systems it evaluated.

The alert further stated that the agency discovered how certain water systems did not update default passwords, did not block access to former employees, and only used single, potentially compromised logins for all staff members.

Despite the fact that many of the EPA’s regulations aimed at safeguarding water systems are “basic cyber hygiene practices,” the agency said that any hacks might have a major effect on consumers as well as water utilities.

“EPA is issuing this alert because threats to, and attacks on, the nation’s water system have increased in frequency and severity to a point where additional action is critical,” the agency stated.

Recently, utilities in Pennsylvania and Texas have been the subject of cyber attacks by groups purportedly connected to Iran and Russia.

“Protecting our nation’s drinking water is a cornerstone of EPA’s mission, and we are committed to using every tool, including our enforcement authorities, to ensure that our nation’s drinking water is protected from cyber attacks,” EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe said in a statement. “EPA’s new enforcement alert is the latest step that the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to ensure communities understand the urgency and severity of cyberattacks and water systems are ready to address these serious threats to our nation’s public health.”

Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts

Share this post!