Ransomware, Critical Infrastructure Security

Cyberattack disrupts North Texas water utility

Officials at North Texas Municipal Water District have confirmed that the water, wastewater, and solid waste management services provider had its business computer network impacted by a cyberattack, according to The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. While phone services have been disrupted by the attack, there has been no impact on customers, said NTMWD Director of Communications Alex Johnson, who added that an investigation looking into the extent of the incident is already underway. Ransomware operation Daixin Team has taken credit for the attack, which it claims has resulted in the exfiltration of more than 33,000 files with customer details from NTMWD's systems. Such an intrusion, which follows the targeting of the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa in Pennsylvania by Iranian hacking group Cyber Av3ngers over the weekend, shows the attractiveness of municipal water providers as attack targets, noted Axio Senior Cybersecurity Advisor Richard Caralli. "It has several challenges: limited cybersecurity budget and staff, significant third-party dependencies, and one of the most direct vectors for causing wide-spread effects on life, safety, and health," Caralli added.

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