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The EPA is cracking down on cybersecurity threats

In an aerial view, pools of water lined up in two concentric semicircles are visible at the East Bay Municipal Utility District Wastewater Treatment Plant on March 20th, 2024, in Oakland, California. 
The East Bay Municipal Utility District Wastewater Treatment Plant on March 20th, 2024, in Oakland, California.  | Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency is ramping up its inspections of critical water infrastructure after warning of “alarming vulnerabilities” to cyberattacks.

The agency issued an enforcement alert yesterday warning utilities to take quick action to mitigate threats to the nation’s drinking water. The EPA plans to increase inspections and says it will take civil and criminal enforcement actions as needed.

“Cyberattacks against [community water systems] are increasing in frequency and severity across the country,” the alert says. “Possible impacts include disrupting the treatment, distribution, and storage of water for the community, damaging pumps and valves, and altering the levels of chemicals to hazardous amounts.”

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