In the wake of a cyberattack on a Western Pennsylvania water utility, federal officials are urging infrastructure operators to tighten their security — and they’re warning that another attack could be coming.
The cyberattack, which hit a Pittsburgh brewery in addition to the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa, was part of a targeted Thanksgiving campaign by a terrorist group tied to the Iranian government, the FBI said Wednesday. The FBI called the intrusions a “significant escalation” over previous hacks.
Another cyberattack could come around Christmas, agent Wolfgang Moser said at a Wednesday webinar hosted with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. He later clarified the FBI has no specific intelligence predicting a holiday attack.
The warning came as White House officials prepare to visit Pittsburgh on Monday to discuss how the region’s cybersecurity workforce fits into the federal government’s digital security strategy, a visit that was planned independently of the recent attacks. A report outlining the strategy, released in March, does not specifically address the kinds of control systems that were targeted by the hackers.