Could a hacker poison an entire city? It is not impossible, as the police force in Oldsmar, a small Florida town of 13,000 inhabitants, has just seen.
On February 5, a hacker logged into the city’s drinking water treatment unit control system and attempted to increase the concentration of sodium hydroxide, also known as sodium hydroxide, tenfold. caustic soda.
Individuals use it to unclog their pipes. It is also used in water treatment to regulate acidity and remove metals … provided that it does not exceed a certain level of concentration. The modification envisaged by the hacker could have been dangerous for the users.
Fortunately, the hacker’s actions did not go unnoticed. They were noticed by a control system operator, who saw the mouse move on its own and open software settings. The intrusion lasted only five minutes. Water treatment officials immediately rectified the sodium hydroxide concentration and no spoiled water was distributed to residents.
No information was given on how the hacker gained access to the control system. Unfortunately, this story is not very surprising. For several years, security researchers have alerted the authorities to the poor security of certain industrial facilities, sometimes directly accessible online.
Source : Zdnet