A HACKER infiltrated a water treatment plant in a Florida town on Friday and tried to poison the water supply.
The hacker broke into the facility serving Oldsmar, a town near Tampa, Florida, and increased the sodium hydroxide amount from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million for a short time frame.
“In these mega quantities, it’s a caustic substance,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said, according to The Daily Mail on Monday.
An operator at the plant noticed the mouse on a screen moving at 8am and 1:30pm.
“The guy was sitting there monitoring the computer as he’s supposed to and all of a sudden he sees a window pop up that the computer has been accessed,” Gualtieri said.
“The next thing you know someone is dragging the mouse and clicking around and opening programs and manipulating the system.”
Small amounts of sodium hydroxide, also referred to as lye, are used to control acid levels in water, but a higher concentration in drinking water can be dangerous.
Upon noticing the hacker activating in the morning and afternoon, the worker at the plant called the sheriff.
The water treatment plant was able to reverse the hacker’s command quickly.
“The amount of sodium hydroxide that got in was minimal and was reversed quickly,’ Gualtieri said.
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