Iran-linked cyberattacks threaten equipment used in U.S. water systems and factories

An Iran-linked hacking group called “CyberAv3ngers” is allegedly targeting and compromising U.S. facilities using an Israeli-made computer system, with industries like water, energy, food and beverage manufacturing, and health care potentially under threat.

The situation: The U.S Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced the cyberattacks, which have been spread across several states.
* The hackers have reportedly infiltrated video screens with the message “You have been hacked, down with Israel. Every equipment ‘made in Israel’ is CyberAv3ngers legal target.”
* The equipment targeted, ‘Unitronics Vision Series programmable logic controllers,’ is primarily used in water and wastewater systems.

Significance of the attacks: The incident underlines how vulnerable the U.S. critical infrastructure could be to cyberattacks.
* CyberAv3ngers was behind the breach at a water authority outside of Pittsburgh on Nov. 25.
* While it didn’t majorly disrupt the water supply, the incident highlighted the potential threat to essential infrastructure.
* The lawmakers urged the Justice Department “to conduct a full investigation and hold those responsible accountable.”

A larger context: This attack forms part of a bigger picture of ongoing cyberwarfare between Israel and Hamas.
* Both sides of the conflict have numerous hacking groups that have disrupted company operations and leaked sensitive information online.
* In response to these events, Israeli authorities have given themselves new emergency wartime powers to step in if a cloud storage or digital service company gets hacked.
View original article on NPR
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