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Home Government Iranian Hackers Targeted Bowman Dam in 2013: WSJ Report

Iranian Hackers Targeted Bowman Dam in 2013: WSJ Report

According to a new Wall Street Journal Report, Iranian computer hackers targeted the Bowman Avenue Dam in 2013 as part of an effort to control industrial systems in the United States.

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(PHOTO: Rye's Blind Brook, downstream from Bowman Avenue Dam, rages along Locust Avenue in April 2007.)

Rye residents came to know the small Bowman Avenue Dam in the wake of the severe March and April floods of 2007 when many homes in Indian Village were damaged and the Central Avenue bridge was destroyed by the raging Blind Brook. In the wake of the flooding, residents called for various mitigation efforts, including expanding the retention ability and control mechanisms at the Bowman Avenue Dam.

The Wall Street Journal now reports:

"Cyberspies had access to control system of small structure near Rye in 2013, sparking concerns that reached to the White House
Iranian hackers infiltrated the control system of the Bowman Avenue Dam, a small structure used for flood control, near Rye, N.Y., in 2013. 

Iranian hackers infiltrated the control system of a small dam less than 20 miles from New York City two years ago, sparking concerns that reached to the White House, according to former and current U.S. officials and experts familiar with the previously undisclosed incident.

The breach came amid attacks by hackers linked to Iran’s government against the websites of U.S. banks, and just a few years after American spies had damaged an Iranian nuclear facility with a sophisticated computer worm called Stuxnet. In October 2012, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called out Iran’s hacking, prompting fears of cyberwar…

The 2013 dam hack highlighted another challenge for America’s digital defenses: the fog of cyberwar. Amid a mix of three-letter agencies, unclear Internet addresses and rules governing domestic surveillance, U.S. officials at first weren’t able to determine where the hackers had infiltrated, three of the people familiar with the incident said.

Hackers are believed to have gained access to the dam through a cellular modem, according to an unclassified Homeland Security summary of the case that doesn’t specify the type of infrastructure by name. Two people familiar with the incident said the summary refers to the Bowman Avenue Dam, a small structure used for flood control near Rye, N.Y.

Investigators said hackers didn’t take control of the dam but probed the system, according to people familiar with the matter…

Eventually, the trail led to the Bowman Avenue Dam, the people said, near the village of Rye Brook, N.Y., a 20-foot-tall concrete slab across Blind Brook, about 5 miles from Long Island Sound. It was built in the mid-20th century for ice production, according to municipal documents.

“It’s very, very small,” said Marcus Serrano, the manager of the neighboring larger city of Rye. In 2013, Mr. Serrano said, several FBI agents appeared at city offices and wanted to speak to the city’s information-technology manager about a hacking incident at the dam. “There was very little discussion,” Mr. Serrano said.

Chris Bradbury, administrator for the village of Rye Brook, said, “I couldn’t comment on that.”

The FBI declined to comment."

Read the full story.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Sack’s Silly Season of Suppression.
    (Excerpted from an upcoming commentary for MyRye)
    “My team and I will work together and with others to promote fundamental ideals, including openness, transparency, integrity and accountability, to restore confidence in our City government and get Rye back on track.” (Oct 2103 Campaign Flyer for Rye United)
    The joke is again on the voters as yet another so-called Rye City municipal “Reform” ticket veers wildly off its pre-election promises and embraces public record secrecy with all the slippery sanctimony of a standard corridor of corruption cow town. Thanks to The Wall Street Journal and MyRye.com we can now add the “Iranian Hacking Memo” from DHS, which has resided quietly for years in secret at City Hall, to a long and dismal list of suppressed public documents withheld from our overly sensitive eyes by those who are paid with our tax dollars and apparently know better.
    Highlights from this list include (1) the ex-city naturalist’s memo to the city council exonerating Bob Schubert and fingering city hall insiders in a wetland destruction-for-profit gambit, (2) police records important to the public understanding of the former Caspi case document disappearance matter, (3) the Rye Golf Club fraud’s 2012-2013 forensic accounting reports from Breen & Associates, again very likely fingering city hall insiders who assisted Scott Yandrasevich in the circumvention of our internal financial controls, and (4) the most curious case of Mayor Sack’s own city work related emails – which were legally FOILed for last April. Someone is apparently worried enough about these public records to stonewall for 9+ months and force the Rye resident requestor into court.
    Nothing to see here? Mr. Sack, for one, should know better.

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