RYE BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Revelations of a data breach at a dam in Westchester County have prompted officials to call for an investigation.
As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Wednesday, the breach at the Bowman Avenue Dam in Rye Brook happened two years ago. But it remained a secret even to many local leaders.
“The town of Rye Brook, the County of Westchester, didn’t even know about this until they read it in the paper,” said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that back in 2013, Iranian hackers were able to go online and breach software that controls the floodgates.
Investigators believe the hackers were just looking around to see what they could get into.
While no damage was done, local and state officials were demanding to know why they were left in the dark.
“If this was important enough for the Secretary or the Department of Homeland Security to brief or alert the White House, then why wasn’t the county – part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force — alerted as well?” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. “Who’s to say this wasn’t just a dry run on a remote dam that in the future, they might be testing to do something on a bigger scale?”
Schumer on Wednesday was urging the Department of Homeland Security to investigate just how vulnerable America’s infrastructure is to cyberattack, including the nation’s power grid.
“We want to know how often this has occurred, who’s done it, how successful they’ve been, and what is being done to prevent it,” Schumer said.
Schumer also called on the federal government to work with state and local governments, as well as private companies to prevent future hacks.
The Department of Homeland Security had no comment on the hacking incident, but a representative said the department continues to strengthen security of critical infrastructure.