Government throws $45M at protecting U.S. dams from hackers

Theodore Roosevelt Dam in Arizona (Wikimedia Commons)

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The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) has awarded two companies a $45 million contract to protect dams across the country from cyberattacks.

Booz Allen Hamilton and Spry Methods, both based in McLean, Va., received the spots on the contract last week. NextGov first reported the award.

The USBR, part of the Department of the Interior, manages the U.S.’s water-related resources, such as dams, power plants and canals. The two vendors were awarded a contract for indefinitely delivery and indefinite quantity of services for five years, helping the the office manage the security of 600 dams that the bureau built and oversees across 17 states.

The contract covers Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation for the bureau. CDM is a Department of Homeland Security program that monitors and protects federal networks. BAH and Spry will also ensure the bureau complies with the Federal Information Security Management Act, manage the dams’ industrial control systems and oversee overall network security and vulnerability management.

Dams make up one of the DHS’s critical infrastructure sectors, meaning the government closely watches risks associated with them.

The country has seen cybersecurity threats relating to dams. In 2016, the U.S. indicted seven Iranians for allegedly attempting to shut down a dam in New York as well as conducting cyberattacks against several banks.

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Booz Allen Hamilton, bureau of reclamation, CDM, critical infrastructure, dams, department of the interior, Spry Methods
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