There was an attempted poisoning of a Florida water supply filtration center on February 5, 2021.
A hacker broke into a Florida water filtration system and attempted to poison the water with lye.
Police in Pinellas County, FL released a statement regarding a hack into the City of Oldsmar’s water treatment system.
Around 8am on Friday, February 5th, a plant operator at the Oldsmar plant noticed someone remotely accessing the water filtration system.
“The person remotely accessed the system for about three to five minutes and opened various functions on the screen,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during the press conference.
“One of the functions opened by the person hacking into the water system controls the amount of sodium hydroxide in the water.”
Sodium hydroxide is commonly known as lye. Lye is used in water supplies to bring up the pH and prevent pipe corrosion.
The hacker changed the ratio of sodium hydroxide in the water supply from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million, which surpasses toxic levels.
If ingested in larger quantities, lye can cause severe corrosive burns to the throat, esophagus and stomach, sometimes leaving permanent damage.
Lye can cause skin burns and damage to the eyes (blindness.)
When mixed with water, lye releases fumes that damage the lungs. If enough lye is ingested, it can lead to death.
As soon as the hacker exited the system, the plant operator changed the ratios back to proper amounts.
If the plant operator hadn’t noticed the hacking of the water filtration system, thousands of Florida residents would have been seriously ill, or worse.
Computer Hacking Crimes
Computer hacking crimes have been on the rise in recent years.
Although hackers have been targeting more dangerous targets, affecting large amounts of people, credit card hacks and medical records theft are still rated the highest.
We saw the 2020 Presidential election fall prey to hacking from Across the world, mainly from China (proven) and now water filtration systems have been compromised.
Credit card theft is one thing, but it’s quite another when thousands of unsuspecting lives are at stake.
Authorities are unsure who hacked into the Florida water filtration system at this time, but it’s being investigated.
With threats like this, it’s harder to trust technology, and it’s only going to get worse as time goes on. Luckily no one was hurt.
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