First, the hackers attacked the software that controls the water supply in a city in Florida. Then they tried to increase the amount of sodium hydroxide, lye, in the water to dangerous levels.
An employee at the waterworks in the city of Oldsmar in Florida in the USA suddenly saw a warning of intrusion on the screen in front of him, reports Reuters.
– And before you know it, someone is moving the mouse and clicking around and opening programs and manipulating the system, says sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
The hackers had managed to get in via the software Teamviewer and thus managed to gain access to other systems as well.
Dangerous to consume
The employee could then see how the hackers increased the amount of sodium hydroxide, also called lye, in the water. It is a chemical that is used to control the acidity of the water but then in very small amounts. Larger amounts are dangerous to consume. After the employee alerted, the waterworks managed to prevent the hackers’ manipulation of the levels.
Approximately 15,000 people in and around Oldsmar use the water from the facility owned by the city.