Hackers entry the water provide within the metropolis of Florida and attempt to poison it with "harmful" alkalis
Oldsmar accesses its own well fields and treats its water to provide drinking water directly to businesses and homes, the sheriff explained during a press conference on Monday. The treatment plant uses a system that allows remote access so staff can monitor the water level. The sodium hydroxide that is usually used minimally Control the acidity of the water and remove metals from the water. Gualtieri said someone accessed the system remotely briefly at 8 a.m., but the operator didn't notice a problem. It's not uncommon for regulators to check the water level remotely, Gualtieri said.
The worker grew suspicious when someone remotely accessed the computer system again around 1:30 p.m. and the worker saw the mouse move quickly between system controls, Gualtieri said. "The person accessed the system remotely and opened various functions on the screen for about three to five minutes," said the sheriff.
The hacker changed the sodium hydroxide levels from about 100 ppm to 11,100 ppm, Gualtieri said. "This is obviously a significant and potentially dangerous increase," he added. Fortunately, nobody was affected because the worker immediately reduced the chemical when he noticed a change, Gualtieri said.
"The important thing is that the public was never in danger," added the sheriff. He said he did not know who orchestrated the program, but the Secret Service and the FBI had been alerted to open an investigation. "The most important thing is to notify everyone," he said.
Wired Magazine reported back in 2012 that more than 10,000 industrial control systems were connected to the Internet and could be easily hacked. This includes water and sewage systems. "Vendors expect systems to be in separate networks – they comfort themselves with it," Eireann Leverett, then a doctoral student at Cambridge University, told the magazine. "Your documentation says not to put you in an open network." On the other hand, asset owners swear they are not connected. "Leverett later added," At least one customer told us we didn't even know it was appropriate. "