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Cyberattack on a Texas Water Facility May Have Been Concealed by a Russian-Linked Hacking Group

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Experts from the US cybersecurity company Mandiant today disclosed concerns that a hacker collective with connections to the Russian government may have planned a January cyberattack against a Muleshoe, Texas, water facility. The attack caused a tank to overflow, raising questions regarding the safety of vital infrastructure.

The FBI became aware of the incident and began looking into it because it corresponded with other suspected cyber activity in nearby towns. Although the attack had no effect on drinking water, it did raise concerns about how susceptible US water infrastructure are to cyberattacks.’

According to Mandiant’s analysis, the hack was connected to a Telegram channel run by a known GRU military intelligence outfit in Russia. Whether other Russian-speaking hackers took credit for the attack under the same alias or whether the GRU actively planned it is still unknown.

As a result of this event, US water facilities urgently require stronger cybersecurity measures. National security adviser Jake Sullivan has been pressuring state officials to strengthen their defenses against cyber attacks.

The Biden-Harris administration has counseled state officials on strengthening security strategies to protect water systems from future attacks in response to the mounting worries.

The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, and the EPA have refrained from commenting on the topic because the FBI is actively investigating it.

Multiple linkages between the online infrastructure utilized by the hackers and the GRU unit known as Sandworm were found in Mandiant’s assessment. Sandworm is well-known for its disruptive cyberattacks in Ukraine, and it has a track record of amplifying the impact of its breaches through the use of online personas.

Authorities are on the lookout for new cyberthreats aimed at vital infrastructure as investigations progress. As the situation changes, keep checking back for updates.

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