WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Justice Department is preparing to announce charges in a cyberattack on a small dam in Westchester County — a case U.S. officials have linked to Iran, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
An announcement was expected Thursday, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the matter by name ahead of time and spoke on condition of anonymity.
In 2013, hackers accessed the control system at the Bowman Avenue Dam, a small structure in Rye Brook that is used for flood control.
The identities of any defendants and the precise charges they would face were not immediately known Wednesday night.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said earlier this month that a Justice Department investigation had connected the intrusion to the Iranians. He said the act should be met with stronger sanctions.
“What were they doing? They were sending a shot across our bow,” Schumer said. “They were saying that we can damage, seriously damage, our critical infrastructure and put the lives and property of people at risk.”
Officials in Rye said in December that they had been alerted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about unauthorized access to the city’s computer system. According to the Rye Daily Voice, Rye City Manager Marcus Serrano had stated the city cooperated with an U.S. Department of Homeland Investigation into the incident in 2013.
The Justice Department in May 2014 indicted five Chinese military officials suspected of hacking into several major American companies — including U.S. Steel — and stealing trade secrets and confidential business information, though none of those defendants has been brought to the U.S. to face the charges.
That December, the Obama administration publicly accused North Korea of being behind a punishing hack at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
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