U.S. critical infrastructure organizations have been urged by Deputy National Security Adviser Anne Neuberger to strengthen cybersecurity following attacks by Iranian hacking group Cyber Av3ngers against water utilities through the exploitation of Unitronics programmable logic controllers, The Associated Press reports.
While Cyber Av3ngers' attacks were lacking in sophistication, such intrusions indicate the persistence of nation-state and cybercriminal efforts, noted Neuberger in an interview.
"We need to be locking our digital doors. There are significant criminal threats, as well as capable countries, but particularly criminal threats, that are costing our economy a lot," Neuberger said.
Ransomware attacks against healthcare systems across the U.S. further emphasize the need for more robust cybersecurity.
"The president's made it a priority. We're pushing out actionable information. We're pushing out advice. And we really need the partnership of state and local governments and of companies who are operating critical services to take and implement that advice quickly," Neuberger added.