It is being reported that U.S. officials are investigating an attack by hackers “linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), also known as the “Cyber Av3ngers,” that allowed them to gain control of a device at the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa, PA. The water authority has stated that once the intrusion was detected, the water facility switched to manual operations and there was no threat to the water system or availability of water to residents.

The hackers reportedly obtained access to “a pump that regulates pressure to elevated areas of our system” in a remote water station for two townships in Pennsylvania servicing around 7,000 residents.  Although the hacking group is known to make exaggerated and fake claims about its capabilities, the attack emphasizes how critical infrastructure is targeted by foreign adversaries and the difficulty of protecting critical infrastructure from attacks.

Water utilities and boards are eligible for free vulnerability scanning from CISA, which they would do well to implement sooner rather than later if they have not done so already.

Photo of Linn Foster Freedman Linn Foster Freedman

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She is a member of the Business Litigation Group and the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team, and chair’s the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Team. Linn focuses her practice on…

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She is a member of the Business Litigation Group and the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team, and chair’s the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Team. Linn focuses her practice on compliance with all state and federal privacy and security laws and regulations. She counsels a range of public and private clients from industries such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine and charitable organizations, on state and federal data privacy and security investigations, as well as emergency data breach response and mitigation. Linn is an Adjunct Professor of the Practice of Cybersecurity at Brown University and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law.  Prior to joining the firm, Linn served as assistant attorney general and deputy chief of the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office for the State of Rhode Island. She earned her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law and her B.A., with honors, in American Studies from Newcomb College of Tulane University. She is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Read her full rc.com bio here.