(RepublicanReport.com) – Remote access to working systems has become the norm over the last few years, especially since the onset of COVID-19. This type of technology has the power to revolutionize the way we work, but it also poses serious risks that may not be immediately obvious.
Last week, a hacker targeted a Florida water treatment plant, attempting to poison the area’s public water supply. According to a news conference held by the Pinellas County Sheriff on Monday, February 8, the attacker managed to briefly increase the level of sodium hydroxide (lye) in the water by a factor of 100. Luckily, a supervisor noticed irregular computer activity and addressed the situation.
Sodium hydroxide is an alkaline compound used to balance water acidity levels. It has a corrosive effect on human tissue in concentrated doses, causing irritation and burns.
The attacker upped sodium hydroxide levels in the Oldsmar, Florida water supply to extremely dangerous levels. https://t.co/8Dfonafqm8
— WIRED Science (@WIREDScience) February 9, 2021
While Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said in a press conference that there was never any real danger for the public, this hacking incident raises questions about cybersecurity in local government systems. Perhaps it’s time for lawmakers to start taking extra steps to make sure water treatment systems are secure against these types of attacks.
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