RealNews

Watchdog Finds Lapses in Water Systems

Water utilities have installed computer-based remote controls “with little attention paid to security,” leaving valves, pumps and chemical mixers for water supplies vulnerable to cyber-attack, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report. In a report Monday, the EPA’s inspector general cited costs, lack of ability to check employees’ backgrounds and poor communication between technical engineers and management for the shortcomings. Benjamin Grumbles, EPA’s water chief, said Monday he agrees with the report’s assessment that there are “a broad range of challenges” facing water utilities, particularly with wireless communications systems, but that his office now has a plan for making improvements. “We are actively working to provide additional tools to communities to enhance cyber security, providing funding for information that would be placed on a secure web site by the fall, to help utilities be more aware of potential threats to their computer systems,” Grumbles said. Full Story

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