OLDSMAR -In an unsuccessful effort to fill the water supply with a potentially dangerous chemical, a hacker remotely obtained access to a water treatment plant in Florida, authorities said.
A computer hacker obtained access to a Florida city’s water supply and attempted to pump a “dangerous” quantity of a chemical, officials claim.
In Oldsmar’s water treatment facility, the hacker briefly increased the quantity of sodium hydroxide (lye), but a worker noticed it and reversed the operation. Lye is used to regulating acidity in limited quantities, but a large amount may have created severe water issues.
Hacker increases the stock of chemicals in Oldsmar Florida water
Mayor Eric Seidel of Oldsmar said: “There’s a bad actor out there.”
No arrests have been made yet, and whether they did the hack from inside the US or outside is not clear. On Friday, they accessed a computer monitoring Oldsmar’s water treatment system remotely.
The Trendingsearchs reported that a plant operator saw an attempt to access the machine in the morning but thought it was his boss. Early in the afternoon, however, another attempt was made. This time, the hacker accessed the treatment program and increased sodium hydroxide content from 100 parts per million to 11,100 ppm.
A supervisor saw tampering with the chemical and was able to interfere and reverse it. Oldsmar is about 15 miles northwest of Tampa and there was no danger to the city’s 15,000 people, officials said.
The operator reduced the level to normal instantly.