An Iranian cyberattack on a Rye Brook, New York, dam has been confirmed. Seven Iranians have now been charged with a series of coordinated attacks on a grand total of 46 companies over three years. One was allegedly able to hack into the Bowman Avenue dam and infiltrate the control system. The dam is located about 15 miles from New York City.
The Iranian cyberattacks on bank company websites thwarted customers from garnering access to their online accounts and allowed a massive amount of identity thefts to occur, USA Today reports. Tens of millions of dollars were reportedly spent to fix the operating systems after the cyberattacks.
Seven hackers tied to Iranian government charged in cyberattacks on dozens of banks and a dam outside New York City https://t.co/zTzuWtudx8
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) March 24, 2016
“The attacks were relentless, systematic and widespread,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. “They threatened our economic well-being and our ability to compete fairly in the global marketplace — both of which are directly linked to our national security.”
Attorney General Lynch also stated the cyberattacks were initiated explicitly to damage online operations of the free market in the United States and to undermine operations, MSN notes.
Hamid Firoozi has been identified as the Iranian cyber hacker who was able to gain access to the New York dam. The U.S. State Department has issued indictments against all seven hackers, none of which are currently in custody. The Bowman Avenue Dam in Rye Brook prevents water from Blind Brook from flooding, according to the Justice Department indictment.
Firoozi hacked into the New York dam computer system and was reportedly able to get information about dam operations and the water level, sluice gate, flow rates, and temperature status system. If the Iranian cyber hacker could manipulate the hacked system, he could potentially cause massive flooding in the area.
Fortunately for residents in the area, the sluice gate had been temporarily disconnected for maintenance and could only be operated manually. If Hamid Firoozi had conducted the cyber attack during a time when the gate was not undergoing repairs, he could have remotely operated the flood control barrier, Justice Department prosecutors revealed in the federal indictment against the Iranian hackers.
There are about 140 structures located near the Bowman Avenue dam. In the summer of 1971, the largest recorded Blind Rock flood occurred. Significant damage reportedly occurred in the area, which has grown in the decades since. The sluice gate was put into place for added floor protection just a few months before the cyber attack.
— The Hacker News (@TheHackersNews) March 25, 2016
Cyberattacks have become a mounting concern in recent years. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a multitude of attacks on the nation’s power grid and other vital pieces of infrastructure occur on almost a daily basis. If hackers took down the power grid, not only would the United States cease to have electricity, gas pumps would no longer function. This would prevent the transportation of food and medicines, the operation of water treatment plants, and would also cause a halt to emergency medical, police, and fire services.
FBI Director James Comey said that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was involved in the cyberattacks. The corps are a branch of the military in Iran.
The seven Iranian cyber hackers indicted by the Justice Department include Firoozi, Ahmad Fathi, Amin Shokohi, Sadegh Ahmadzadegan, Omid Ghaffarinia, Sina Keissar, and Nader Saedi.
Each of the defendants is believed to work for Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-funded computer companies in Iran.
What do you think about the cyberattacks on the New York dam and banks? Could cyber hackers change life as we know it in America by taking down vital pieces of infrastructure and banks that are now primarily controlled by online operating systems?
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