Concern for water safety after hacker compromises system in Florida

By Gabriela Corrêa and Daniel Vidal Pérez |

The water supply system in the city of Oldsmar (Florida, USA) suffered an attack. Through remote access to the computer, there has been a deliberate 100-fold increase in the programmed amount of caustic soda. If the plan was met with success, all water supplies would have been compromised after 24 hours, poisoning 15.000 residents and contaminating locally generated products. The automatic safety protocols used would have prevented the disaster. However, a supervisor noticed the irregularity immediately and manually reversed the concentration. Remote access was disabled, neighboring municipalities were alerted about the attack and encouraged to inspect the security measures of their core infrastructure services.

Impacts on Defense and Security: Cyber invasions in essential infrastructures, such as the treatment and supply of water, have serious consequences for the health of the population and the maintenance of any productive activity, also generating a psychosocial impact due to the feeling of insecurity. Water security is a resource closely related to food security, both of which are fundamental to human security.

Source: EVANS, Jack. Someone tried to poison Oldsmar’s water supply during hack, sheriff says. Tampa Bay Times. Pinellas. 2/8/2021. Available at: https://www.tampabay.com/news/pinellas/2021/02/08/someone-tried-to-poison-oldsmars-water-supply-during-hack-sheriff-says/

 

 

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