According to a report Tampa bay times, Hackers gained access to computers controlling the chemical levels of the water treatment facility and increased its level sodium hydroxide. Thankfully, a vigilant observer was able to track the sudden change and revert the changes made from outside.
Sodium hydroxide is used to maintain the acidity level of water. It is the same compound used in bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions. In high amounts, sodium hydroxide can cause irreparable damage to the human body.
No person was injured due to this incident and other cities of America are on high alert. Earlier, a water utility facility was targeted by Russian hackers in November 2020 in Illinois.
Explaining the violation, Tampa bay times Reported, “A plant operator was monitoring the system at around 8 am on Friday and noticed that someone had accessed it for some time. He did not find it unusual, Gualtieri said, because his supervisor regularly accessed remote systems. ”
But the sudden increase in sodium hydroxide levels that day aroused suspicion. “At around 1:30 in the afternoon on the same day, Gaultieri said, someone re-accessed the system. This time, he said, the operator noticed that someone took control of the mouse, directed it to the software that controls the water treatment, worked inside it for three to five minutes and increased the amount of sodium hydroxide per 100 million. Increased from 11 million to 11,100 parts per million, ”the report added.