Chicago's water department says it's secure against cyber attack

November 21, 2011

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(Flickr/brewbooks)
The Stickney Water Reclamation Plant from above. It's part of Chicago's Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

The Chicago department in charge of the city's water said it's safe from cyber attack. That comes after what may have been a cyber attack on a water facility just outside of Springfield, Illinois.

On November 8th, attackers allegedly gained access to a rural Illinois water utility network and its pumps. Reuters reported no service was disrupted, but it appears credentials were stolen from a company that makes software to control industrial systems.

The Springfield FBI is still investigating but said they don't believe infrastructure or public safety is at risk.

David St. Pierre is with Chicago's Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. He said Chicago's water system doesn't have the same vulnerabilities as the one downstate.

"Our system does not tie to the external world. Our security strategy is that they are independent so there really is no way for anybody to access them from the outside, at all," St. Pierre said.

The downstate water utility reporting the security breach did not immediately return calls for comment.