Alert supervisor stops hacker filling up a FL county water supply with lye

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An alert worker at a water treatment facility in Florida noticed someone had hacked into their system and was spiking the levels of sodium hydroxide (lye) added to the drinking water by 1000 times the amount needed.

“The sheriff said the intruder was active for three to five minutes. When they exited, the plant operator immediately restored the proper chemical mix,’ he said,” according to the AP.

The hacker used a remote access program.

Fortunately, a supervisor saw the chemical tampering in real time. He watched as a mouse controlled by the intruder moving across the screen changing settings. The worker was able to intervene and immediately reverse it. Pinellas county sheriff Bob Gualtieri gave the information to the press yesterday. Oldsmar is about 15 miles (25 kilometers) northwest of Tampa.

The intruder took “the sodium hydroxide up to dangerous levels.” Is this a foreign operative running a test?

Oldsmar officials have since disabled the remote-access system. They say other safeguards were in place to prevent the increased chemical from getting into the water. Officials warned other city leaders in the region about the incident. The officials suggested they check their systems.

Experts say municipal water and other systems have the potential to be easy targets for hackers. Local governments’ computer infrastructure are usually underfunded.

The FBI was called in but they are probably too busy looking for Trump supporters who attended the rally or might have attended the rally.

The hacker could be almost anyone.


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