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Security Strategies

Iranian Hack of NY Dam Highlights Cyber Security Concerns

Cyber security threats to critical infrastructure are now -- it turns out -- very much a real present danger.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s chief security officer, Ed Amoroso, told Light Reading in September 2014 that he considered cyber threats to infrastructure like power stations and dams the next big cyber security concern for those watching for such threats. (See AT&T's Amoroso: To Battle New Threats, Mobilize Your People.)

"The next step is probably terrorists trying to destroy critical infrastructure," Amoroso told us back then. As it turns out, when Amoroso said that, state actors were already said to have been looking for weaknesses in US infrastructure.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said this week that the governement has indicted seven Iranian hackers for hacking major US banks between 2011 and 2013, as well as breaking into the computer system controlling a dam in a small town in New York State. The hackers are suspected to be associated with the Iranian government.

Local news reports say that Hamid Firoozi, one of the seven Iranians named as reposnsible for the cyber attacks, gained access to the Rye, New York's dam computer systems in late summer 2013. At the time, the dam's sluice gate was disconnected from the computer system for maintenance, so he could not alter water levels.

The probing of the dam's systems, however, underlines Amoroso's warning about the threats to critical infrastructure from cyber attacks.

Ironically, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was also among the companies targeted by the Iranians, according to the Attorney General.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

DanJones 3/26/2016 | 10:21:16 AM
Iranian govt denies... For the record, the Iranian govt. has denied involvement.
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