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Hacker tries to poison the water supply of Florida city

Hacker tries to poison the water supply of Florida city

February 10, 2021: According to the officials, A computer hacker gained access to a city’s water system in Florida and attempted to pump in a “dangerous” amount of a chemical.

The hacker raised the amount of sodium hydroxide in Oldsmar’s water treatment system, but a worker spotted it and reversed the action.

Sodium hydroxide (lye) is used in small amounts to control acidity, but a large amount can cause more significant water problems.

No arrests have been made yet, and it is still unknown if the hack was done outside the US or within.

On Friday, A computer controlling Oldsmar’s water treatment system was accessed.

A plant operator saw the trial to access the system in the morning, but he assumed it was his supervisor, reported by the Tampa Bay Times.

The hacker accessed the treatment software in the second attempt made in the early afternoon and this time increased the lye content from 100 parts per million to 11,100 ppm.

The operator reduced the level to normal immediately.

Sodium hydroxide is the chief ingredient in liquid drain cleaners. It is very corrosive and can irritate skin and eyes, along with loss of hair temporarily.

If swallowed, it can damage the mouth, throat, and stomach and induce vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said: “I’m not a chemist. But if you put that amount of that substance into the drinking water, it’s not a good thing.”

“At no time was there a significant adverse effect on the water being treated. Importantly, the public was never in danger”, Bob Gualtieri added.

The water was provided by the Oldsmar plant to businesses and around 15,000 residents.

The remote access program to the water system has been temporarily disabled.

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