Rob Astorino is mad as hell and (apparently) not going to take it any more. Or at least he is mad enough to put out a press release to generate headlines on a slow news day (see below).
In the wake of the news that Iranian hackers made some sort of computer breach against the sluice gate that controls the tiny, Rye City controlled Bowman Dam in Rye Brook, Astorino is pissed the Feds did not clue him in back in 2013 when they walked into Rye City Hall and asked to see the IT guy.
The bigger question is why didn't Rye City and its then Mayor (Doug French) and then City Manager (Scott Pickup) make some sort of disclosure in 2013? And why does Astorino direct some of his vitriol at Rye City versus the amorphous Feds? Perhaps attacking the Feds just gets you a bit more ink based on the standard media playbook.
We hope when there is more disclosure it is shared with MyRye.com and other local media. When this writer asked Rye City for a copy of the report the Department of Homeland Security provided Rye City in January 2014, current Rye City Manager Marcus Serrano told us to call the Department of Homeland Security. Beyond the fact the City has the report, we asked for a specific name at DHS and the City was unwilling to provide this. The DHS has 240,000 employees.
Astorino attacks "the Feds".
Serrano tells us the call "Homeland Security".
And the answers at are at 1051 Boston Post Road, Rye City Hall.
Some many interesting dimensions to this story–it certainly is not over….
[The Astorino PR follows for your reading pleasure.]
ASTORINO DEMANDS ANSWERS FROM FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
ON COMMUNICATION FAILURE IN AFTERMATH OF CYBER BREACH AT DAM IN RYE
Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino said today that he is asking the Department of Homeland Security for details about the reported Iranian cyber-security breach at the Bowman Ave. Dam in Rye two years ago, and explanations about why the county wasn’t informed of the security risk.
“If this information was important enough to be reported to the White House then why wasn’t it reported to me and the county officials who would have been required to deal with the consequences of any terror attack,” said Astorino. “It is unacceptable that in this day in age that I had to read about this in the newspaper. No amount of intelligence information is too small or insignificant when it comes to security.”
On December 21, the Wall Street Journal published a report saying Iranian hackers infiltrated the control system at Bowman Ave Dam in 2013, citing unnamed federal officials. According to the report, the White House was notified of the breach.
Despite being a member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Westchester County was never alerted to the potential security risk. Since January 2010, a Westchester County police detective has been assigned full-time to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to ensure access to the highest levels of intelligence information affecting Westchester and its citizens. Westchester is also part of a separate counter-terrorism zone that also includes Putnam County.
The Bowman Ave. Dam, located in the Village of Rye Brook, is owned by the City of Rye and controls water on the Blind Brook flowing south through the city. The dam, which is designed to mitigate flooding, has a computer-operated sluice gate. The reports suggest that while the hackers never took control of the dam, they were able to penetrate the electronics system.
“Even though it is done with computers, this is considered a criminal break in,” said Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth. “The link to a possible terror threat makes this extremely serious.”