DHS Won’t Tell You But Radical Islamists Are Actively Trying to Poison Us

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Across industry, the rate of cybersecurity threats is going up. Nearly 70 percent of critical infrastructure companies surveyed by Ponemon Institute “suffered a security breach in the last year,“Info Security reported in 2014.

With cyber attacks becoming more frequent and attacks on our power grid and water supplies increasing, there is a corresponding decrease in information out of the Department of Homeland Security because politics trumps safety with this government. We can’t prepare if we don’t know the threat.

Americans are not being warned about the attempts by Islamic terrorists on our water supplies but if you look at the Register UK, you can get some recent information.

A “hacktivist” group with ties to Syria compromised Kemuri Water Company’s computers after exploiting unpatched web vulnerabilities in its internet-facing customer payment portal, Security Week reported.

Verizon’s RISK Team uncovered evidence that the hacktivists had manipulated the valves controlling the flow of chemicals twice – though fortunately to no particular effect. It seems the activists lacked either the knowledge of SCADA systems or the intent to do any harm.

The same hack also resulted in the exposure of personal information of the utility’s 2.5 million customers. There’s no evidence that this has been monetised or used to commit fraud.

Hackers caused “serious damage” after breaching a German steel mill with a phishing email and spear phishing played a role in the attack against power utilities in the Ukraine last year.

The Lid wrote that as far back as 2002, the FBI arrested the Ujaama brothers. Tied to the Taliban the brothers were carrying plans about how to poison water supplies.

In 2013, seven Muslim “chemical engineers” were caught trespassing at a key supply of water for Boston, after midnight. And a few weeks later the water authorities noticed that some of the padlocks were cut keeping people out of the aqueducts carrying water to Bostonthe Lid reported.

watersystems_small DHS Won't Tell You But Radical Islamists Are Actively Trying to Poison Us

In May 2013, jihadists were caught in Canada who had considered poisoning air and water to murder up to 100,000 people. In October 2013, the FBI was investigating a possible water supply threat in Wichita. In January 2014, a Muslim broke into a water treatment plant in New Jersey.

There are about 160,000 public drinking water systems and more than 16,000 publicly owned wastewater treatment systems in the United States. Approximately 84 percent of the U.S. population receives their potable water from these drinking water systems, and more than 75 percent of the U.S. population has its sanitary sewerage treated by these wastewater systems.

Cyberattacks pose a greater threat to water and wastewater utilities than most other industrial sectors, water online reported.

Federal cybersecurity overseers at the Homeland Security Department say they received 159 reports in 2013 involving “vulnerabilities in control systems components. The majority of vulnerabilities that were coordinated involved systems most commonly used in the Energy Sector, followed by Critical Manufacturing and Water and Wastewater.”

Of all the 245 cyber threat incidents reported by asset owners and industry partners in 2014, 14 came from the water sector, Water Online reported last May.

Across industry, the rate of cybersecurity threats is going up. Nearly 70 percent of critical infrastructure companies surveyed by Ponemon Institute “suffered a security breach in the last year,Info Security reported in 2014.

Last year, ICS-CERT said the number of vulnerability reports for control systems components across all industries had risen 15 percent since 2011. And, “cyber attacks on industrial targets such as water and wastewater treatment plants in 2014 increased more than 25 percent since 2011,” Environmental Leader reported.