Politics

Pa. Lawmakers Call for Probe of Water System Hack

A trio of federal lawmakers from Pennsylvania is calling for an investigation into how anti-Israeli hackers were able to attack a water system near Pittsburgh, the Washington Examiner reported.

In a letter released Thursday, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., and Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-Pa., pushed Attorney General Merrick Garland for action after the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, was apparently compromised Nov. 24 by foreign hackers because some of its control system components were made in Israel.

“Any attack on our nation’s critical infrastructure is unacceptable,” the lawmakers reportedly wrote. “If a hack like this can happen here in western Pennsylvania, it can happen anywhere else in the United States.”

The targeted equipment was manufactured by Israel-based Unitronics, according to The Associated Press.

According to the Examiner, federal authorities told Casey’s office they believe the operation was conducted by Cyber Av3ngers, a hacking group with ties to Iran. The group has been targeting Israeli infrastructure since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, a spokesperson for leading cybersecurity firm Check Point Research told The Hill.

The hackers reportedly left a message on a device screen that said, “You’ve been hacked,” “Down with Israel,” and “Every equipment ‘made in Israel’ is Cyber Av3ngers legal target.”

Cyber Av3ngers claimed responsibility for hacking 10 water treatment stations on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The Hill reported that the Aliquippa Water Authority maintained service after switching from the automated system to manual operations.

CBS News Pittsburgh obtained a copy of the letter that said there is a history of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Western Pennsylvania “prosecuting cybercrimes involving foreign adversaries.”

Calling the attack “a serious thing,” Deluzio discussed the letter with CBS Pittsburgh.

“A municipal water authority in Aliquippa is the target here, and that controls something we all rely on: access to water,” the congressman said. “So that’s where the vulnerabilities are. We’ve got to shore up defenses and help local government, help private vendors where they’re involved, lift up their cybersecurity.”

Aliquippa water authority Chair Matthew Mottes told the AP that they “are not the only authority that’s been affected in the country, but we are believed to be the first.”

Nicole Wells | editorial.wells@newsmax.com

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.


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