Cyber threats rise for US dams, hacking the floodgates

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Senator Wyden raised concerns about dams infrastructure facing cyber threats, where over 50% are under FERC with no cyber audits, nationally 2,200 high-risk dams are unsatisfactory, and there are limitations in FERC staffing and cybersecurity requirements for commercial operators.

Hacking the Floodgates: U.S. Dams Face Growing Cyber Threats

A recent article highlights the vulnerabilities faced by U.S. dams due to cyber threats. In a hearing on cybersecurity threats to critical water infrastructure, Senator Wyden expressed fears of cyberattacks causing catastrophic consequences in certain regions. The article points out various concerns and weaknesses in the dam sector cyber protection system.

With only 5% of dams falling under federal regulation, and 2,200 high-risk dams in poor condition, the lack of proper cybersecurity audits and staffing poses a grave threat. The dam sector has received limited federal support compared to other critical infrastructure sectors, creating a scenario where nation-state actors can exploit the security gaps to cause significant disruptions and potential harm.

The need for updated cybersecurity requirements and more comprehensive regulations is emphasized, along with a call for government intervention to ensure the safety and security of the nation’s dams. The article underscores the urgency for action, warning of potential human and environmental disasters if cyber risks are not addressed proactively.

Published on: April 18, 2024

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