Corps of Engineers water management site target of attempted cyber attack

A popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Web site that posts real-time water levels for Thurmond Lake was target of an attempted cyber attack in June and has been offline since then.

The Savannah River basin water management page has been taken down since the unsuccessful attack while the Corps rebuilds the site and tests the new version for security, said spokesman Russell Wicke. Because it was connected to other digital networks, it had to go offline to prevent other sites from being compromised.

“To get it programmed and ready to go back up is taking much longer than we expected,” Wicke said. “We are in the final stretch.”

In addition to real-time water levels for Thurmond, Russell and Hartwell reservoirs, the water management page posts water releases and a 10-week projection of levels based on weather. The site also includes more than 50 years of historical information on rainfall and basin data.

No information was lost because of the attempted attack and no security risk was posed by it, Wicke said.

“We caught it before it caused a risk to anything,” he said.

While the public can’t access the site, the Corps’ Savannah district has posted weekly updates on its blog Balancing the Basin. Meanwhile, the site, popular for residents and frequent visitors of Thurmond Lake, has been redesigned to be more user-friendly and visually appealing, Wicke said.

The new site is undergoing a series of security checks to meet Web protocol for the U.S. Department of Defense, he said.

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