An Iranian government-linked cyber group is suspected of hacking a number of American water facilities across the country, Politico reported on Tuesday.
The U.S. government launched an investigation into multiple cyber attacks on American water plants initiated by an Iranian-linked group called “Av3ngers,” according to two officials who spoke to Politico. Iran has acted increasingly hostile toward the U.S. for its support of Israel’s counteroffensive in the Gaza Strip following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks. (RELATED: Iran Using Group Behind Attacks On US Troops In The Middle East To Increase Pressure On White House)
The first cyber attack was detected on Saturday at a water plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The cyber group breached a water pressure control panel, made by Israeli company Unitronics, and shut it down before displaying a message on the panel’s digital screen, according to Politico.
“You have been hacked. Down with Israel,” the message reads. “Every equipment ‘made in Israel’ is a cyber Av3ngers legal target.”
The breach does not give the hackers the ability to corrupt the water being processed at the facility, but it has forced the affected pumps to be operated manually while the investigation is underway, plant manager Robert Bible told Politico. Bible noted that despite the minor setback, overall operational capacity has not been affected and “everything is running normally.”
Thousands of Unitronics devices across the globe remain exposed to cyber attacks, according to Politico. Iran is likely targeting these devices because it is trying to instill broader fears about working with Israeli companies.
“It seems like they’re trying to make you hesitate if you should do business with Israel,” Tom Hegel, a threat researcher at SentinelOne, told Politico.
Iran has acted increasingly hostile toward the U.S. and Israel since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals. Hamas is one of many Iranian proxy groups; others have launched dozens of attacks against U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq since Oct. 7.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact email@example.com.