Officials in Pinellas County, Florida say there was a quote “awful intrusion” into the computer system at a water treatment facility last Friday in which a hacker was able to access the plant’s computer network and increase the sodium hydroxide levels of the water by more than 100-times what’s normal.
Officials with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office are reporting that a hacker somehow remotely gained access to a city’s water treatment plant and attempted to poison the water supply by overloading it with a cleaning agent.
An operator at the plant immediately noticed the discrepancy and quickly changed the setting back, and Oldsmar officials say there wasn’t any adverse effect on the water being treated.
Energy infrastructure security expert Jonathon Monken says there’s nothing they can do to prevent an employee from exploiting the system.
A supervisor thankfully noticed the change in the chemicals and was able to intervene and reverse the hacker’s actions.
While the plant supplies water to over 15,000 people, officials say none of the residents were at risk.
Authorities are still investigating who was behind the hack.