'Thanks for the money'- Iranian backed hacker group launches cyber attack on US water company

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Cyber Attack by is licensed under Cyber War Zone

ALIQUIPPA, PA - It is unknown when or if the Biden administration will teach Iran a lesson, but that day probably should have already come and gone after Iran-backed militants launched several attacks on US forces in the Middle East. Perhaps launching an attack on US soil will get the administration’s attention. 

CBS News reported that a municipal water company in this Pennsylvania community was hit by an Iranian-backed cyber attack this past weekend. 

According to the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa, a cyber group known as CyberAv3ngers, an Iranian-backed cyber group, took control of one of the water control stations. Matthew Mottes, chairman of the board for the Water Authority, said an alarm went off as soon as the hack occurred. 

A message on a monitor read, “You have been HACKED. Down with Israel. Every equipment “Made in Israel” is CyberAv3ngers legal target.” 

According to Mottes, the station, located on the outskirts of the town, monitors and regulates pressure for Raccoon and Potter Townships. He stressed there is no known risk to drinking water or the water supply. Aliquippa, with a population of 9,238 according to the 2020 census, is located about 18 miles northwest of Pittsburgh and is considered part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. 

Mottes said the hacked machine uses a system called Unitronics, which he said contains either Israeli-owned components or software. The system was turned off after the attack, and the Pennsylvania State Police are currently conducting a criminal investigation. 

In a statement to the Beaver Countain, Mottes said: 

“They did not get access to anything in our actual water treatment plant–or other parts of our system–other than a pump that regulates pressure to elevated areas of our system,” he said. “This pump has its own computer network, separated from our primary network, and is physically miles away.” 

“The booster system did what it was supposed to. It sent an alarm, and we took control manually. Nobody was ever at risk.” 

Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-Penn.) said in a statement on "X" that federal officials are assisting in the investigation. He further said he would “push for a full investigation here and accountability for the attackers.” 

CyberAv3ngers has claimed responsibility for a number of cyberattacks worldwide since the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel and had targeted ten water treatment stations in Israel as of Oct. 30, 2023, according to their page on “X.” 

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