Individual American water plants typically rely on their own resources to protect themselves, and there’s never been a nationwide cybersecurity audit of water treatment facilities, claim experts, as they warn that most of the 50,000 or so drinking water facilities are a “security disaster waiting to happen.”
A hacker tried to poison a water treatment plant serving parts of the San Francisco Bay Area earlier in the year, with a subsequent probe revealing the extent of security flaws, reported NBC News.
Previously unreported details of the breach have become known thanks to a private February report by the Northern California Regional Intelligence Centre seen by the outlet.
On 15 January, the hacker, armed with a former employee’s TeamViewer username and password, which enables users to remotely control computers, reportedly logged in and deleted programmes that the water plant used to treat drinking water. After the hack was discovered the following day, the facility changed its passwords and reinstalled the programmes.
The report comes as a growing number of cyberattacks on US water infrastructure have been making headlines. Another hacker who accessed a TeamViewer account raised lye levels in the drinking water to poisonous levels in Oldsmar, Florida just weeks after the San Francisco Bay Area incident.
On that occasion, an employee was quick to notice the computer’s mouse moving on its own and averted further damage. Currently, the Bay Area…