The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a report last year that showed the nation’s water grid, not just its electric grid, was also vulnerable to attacks by hackers. In fact, water utilities were most likely to have reported what DHS categorizes as an advanced persistent threat, which involves exploiting flaws in software programs that run water valves and controls, among other things. The worst kind of these attacks can go undetected for long periods of time.
Water utilities have in recent years — like pretty much everything else — become more reliant on the Internet to operate its networks of pipes and pumps. These controls can help monitor conditions around the clock and the benefits for both water and electrical utilities can be greater reliability and lower labor costs as fewer workers are needed to monitor the valves, controls and switches.
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