Water systems should be aware that the National Security Agency (NSA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a Cybersecurity Advisory today reporting malicious cyber activities by Russian military intelligence against U.S. and global organizations, starting from mid-2019 and likely ongoing. According to a NSA release, “ Russian GRU Conducting Global Brute Force Campaign to Compromise Enterprise and Cloud Environments ” details how the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) 85th Main Special Service Center (GTsSS) has targeted hundreds of U.S. and foreign organizations using brute force access to penetrate government and private sector victim networks. The advisory reveals the tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) GTsSS actors used in their campaign to exploit targeted networks, access credentials, move laterally and collect and exfiltrate data. It also arms system administrators with the mitigations needed to counter this threat. Malicious cyber actors use brute force techniques to discover valid credentials often through extensive login attempts, sometimes with previously leaked usernames and passwords or by guessing with variations of the most common passwords. While the brute force technique is not new, the GTsSS uniquely leveraged software containers to easily scale its brute force attempts. The advisory warns system administrators that exploitation is almost certainly ongoing. Targets have been global but primarily focused on the United States and Europe. Targets include government and military, defense contractors, energy companies, higher education, logistics companies, law firms, media companies, political consultants or political parties, and think tanks. NSA encourages Department of Defense (DoD), National Security Systems (NSS) and Defense Industrial Base (DIB) system administrators to immediately review the indicators of compromise (IOCs) included in the advisory and to apply the recommended mitigations. The most effective mitigation is the use of multi-factor authentication, which is not guessable during brute force access attempts. Read the advisory for a complete list of IOCs and mitigations. Visit NSA.gov/What-We-Do/Cybersecurity/Advisories-Technical-Guidance/ to read more. Questions can be directed to AWWA Federal Relations Manager Kevin Morley .