Augusta Utilities Cyberattack Disables Water Meter Readers causing Extended Billing Chaos

October 2, 2023


Cyberattack at Augusta Utilities disabled electric readers for five weeks, causing customer bills to almost double. The readers are used to measure customer water usage. Separate parts inside the device were all affected during the cyber shutdown. There’s a backorder on water meters because of high demand during COVID. A total of 75,000 meters are installed in Richmond County. With 15 employees, each employee has to check 5000 meters.

On Sep 26, 4 months after the hack, local WRDW/WAGT reports that customers still claim inaccurate billing. Augusta says that 30% of the 75,000 water meters active in Richmond County still have to be read in person. The company is aware some meters may need to be replaced entirely. Since 2021, Augusta Utilities has been working on deciding a trial replacement model to replace all 75,000, it will take five years to complete replacing them all.

Incident Date

May 25, 2023

Estimated Cost

Water readers rendered useless, parts on backorder, billing chaos >4 mts

Type of Malware

No Malware identified

Threat Source

No threat source identified