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Metropolitan Water Treatment Systems Security in Question

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posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 04:50 PM
A recent article by CNN indicates serious lapses in the security associated with remote-controlled water utility functions. Amongst the security concerns are the inability to screen potential employees prior to their hire and insecure wireless remote-control and monitoring functions. The article goes on to demonstrate the severity of the threat by identifying actions taken by a disgruntled contractor which resulted in the release of raw sewage into public waterways and the grounds of a hotel in Australia in 2000.
Water utilities have installed computer-based remote controls "with little attention paid to security," leaving valves, pumps and chemical mixers for water supplies vulnerable to cyber-attack, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report.

In a report Monday, the EPA's inspector general cited costs, lack of ability to check employees' backgrounds and poor communication between technical engineers and management for the shortcomings.

The danger is illustrated by an attack on an Australian waste management system in 2000, the report says. An engineer who had worked for the contractor that supplied the remote control equipment for the system used radio telemetry to gain unauthorized access and dump raw sewage into public waterways and the grounds of a hotel.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This makes me wonder about the 9/11 attacks and how the US seemed to be almost specifically geared toward the vulnerabilities which were exploited by the 9/11 hijackers. From the change in NORAD response procedures, to the issuance of Visas to those on the wanted list, the 9/11 attacks seemed to have had security vulnerabilities custom-engineered to meet the attackers' needs. In addition, 'chatter' significantly decreased in the time preceeding the attack.

If one were to apply the same formula to present time, one could see some parallels. First, 'chatter' has tapered off in recent weeks/days. Second, CNN offers this expose to demonstrate to us how we are specifically vulnerable. Is this just an effort to mitigate known flaws before an attack against them is undertaken so the administration can claim that they were working on the problem? I hope not.

[edit on 29-3-2005 by Spectre]

posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 06:18 PM

Originally posted by chaosrain
Is this just an effort to mitigate known flaws before an attack against them is undertaken so the administration can claim that they were working on the problem? I hope not.

The Clean Water Act and EPA's enforcement abilities have been under attack since Bush became president - by the Bush administration. ...We already have raw sewage getting dumped in our water - and completely inadequate filtering and treatment facilities across the board.

...I am FAR more concerned about the safety of our water with Bush in charge of our legal protections than with the potential for bioterrorism. We already are being poisoned - and millions of Americans already are chronically ill or disabled as a result.

Randomly pulled from one of my water files:

"According to a report by the EPA's Inspector General, the system used by the EPA to track water pollution is "...obsolete, full of faulty data and does not take into account thousands of significant pollution sources." (quote from New York Times story on the report.) Read the Inspector General's report. (May 2003)"
FILE removed from EPA site:

US EPA Director of Office of Enforcement resigns post over Bush administration sabotage of environmental enforcement program. Read Eric Schaeffer’s explanation of why he resigned his post:

Rolling Back Enforcement Through Budget Cuts
"The Bush administration’s budget proposal for the 2003 fiscal year reflects a deliberate strategy of cutting the EPA’s budget for inspections and workforce reducing environmental enforcement actions against polluters." For more, read: The Withering Away of Environmental Enforcement: Shell Game. (PDF file)

"These Bush administration rollbacks are in direct disregard of directions from Congress to maintain or improve enforcement at the Agency. These rollbacks put public health and the environment at risk. The administration’s attempts to substitute existing enforceable programs with unenforceable voluntary programs and to shift responsibility to the states eliminates the federal backstop of environmental protection that has ensured that all states meet minimum requirements for the environment and public health." For more, read: The Bush Administration's Assault on Environmental Enforcement. (PDF file)

U.S. PIRG Reports. In Gross Violation: How Polluters Are Flooding America's Waterways With Toxic Chemicals.

March 30, 2004: Polluters Continue to Violate Clean Water Act: 60 Percent Exceeded Pollution Permits in Recent 18-Month Period

IMO - the Bush administration consistently sacrifices ordinary peoples' health and welfare for multinational corporate profits - and then tries to lay the blame on terrorists. Every time.

Seriously, 'blaming the terrorists' for the results of irresponsible policy and administrative incompetence is getting a bit old.


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