A shocking case of computer hacking came to light in Pinellas County, Florida. Federal investigators are trying to hunt down the person who tried to poison the public water supply – remotely.
Investigators said the plant operator, which was monitoring a waterworks in Oldsmar, Tampa Bay, noticed irregularities beginning Friday morning.
The hacker controlled the computer system mouse – opening various functions on the screen and changing the sodium hydroxide in the water supply from about 100 ppm to 11,100 ppm.
“This is obviously a significant and potentially dangerous growth,” said Bob Gualtieri, Pinellas County sheriff. “Sodium hydroxide, also known as alkali, is a major component of liquid drain cleaners.”
Ingestion of large amounts of sodium hydroxide may cause vomiting, chest and abdominal pain according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Fortunately, inside the water treatment plant, the plant operator immediately restored the level to safe.
The Secret Service and the FBI’s cybernetic units are trying to determine who is behind the hack and whether someone has been in the U.S. or overseas. It only happened two days beforein a city about 30 miles from Raymond James Stadium.
“But the important thing is to let everyone know … It’s kind of bad. The actors are out there, it’s happening,” said Eric Seidel, the mayor of Oldsmar.
Cyber experts warn that hackers have entered the infrastructure before – but have done something dangerous – changing the calculation.
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