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Lye-Poisoning Attack in Florida Shows Cybersecurity Gaps in Water Systems


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Part of the water treatment process.

Experts say the Florida hack, which was addressed quickly, is a prime example of why the cybersecurity of the U.S. water supply remains one of the greatest risks to the country's infrastructure.

Credit: digit.fyi

Experts said hackers' attempted lye-poisoning of a drinking water reservoir in Oldsmar, FL, last Friday highlights the vulnerability of the U.S. water supply.

The hackers logged into a TeamViewer account to remotely access a computer associated with a water treatment plant, and sent instructions to poison the water.

The nation's approximately 54,000 drinking water systems operate independently via either local governments or small corporations, using thousands of security setups often run by generalists.

Cybersecurity consultant Bryson Bort said installing a computer program that lets users control sensitive industrial systems is very common in industrial systems that lack sufficient security expertise.

From NBC News
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