US water company WSSC Water hit by a ransomware attack

Pierluigi Paganini July 05, 2021

US water company WSSC Water is investigating a ransomware attack that affected non-essential business systems in May.

WSSC Water is investigating a ransomware attack that took place on May 24 and that targeted a portion of their network that operates non-essential business systems.

According to reports from WJZ13 Baltimore, the company removed the malware just hours later and locked out the threat, however, the attackers accessed internal files. WSSC has already notified the FBI, Maryland Attorney General, and state and local homeland security officials. 

The company operates filtration and wastewater treatment plants, fortunately, the attack did not impact the water quality, but the investigation is still ongoing.

“WSSC Water continues to produce and deliver safe, clean water to 1.8 million customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and at no time was the quality or reliability of our drinking water in jeopardy,” WSSC Water Police and Homeland Security Director David McDonough said in a statement. “These attacks have become more common, especially in recent weeks, and WSSC Water has prepared for this type of event,”

The company uses air-gapped networks and was able to restore encrypted files from backups.

The incident had no impact on the company because it was prepared to repel such attacks that are becoming frequent, McDonough explained.

WSSC is warning customers of possible attacks abusing the accessed data, it is recommending them to monitor their financial statements and report any suspicious transaction.

The company is going to offer affected people five years of credit monitoring with $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance at no cost.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, water facility)

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