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Sheriff: Investigation underway after hacker attempts to poison Florida town’s water supply

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office holds press conference.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office holds press conference.(PCSO)
Updated: Feb. 8, 2021 at 3:17 PM EST
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PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Authorities in Pinellas County are investigating after an unknown individual attempted to hack the City of Oldsmar’s water treatment plant system.

During a press conference, Pinellas County Bub Gualtieri said that an individual remotely accessed a computer for the water treatment facility and increased the amount of lye, sodium hydroxide, by more than 100 times the normal amount. It’s used to control acidity in water.

Thankfully someone noticed that change and immediately fixed it. Officials noted that the supervisor noticed that someone had accessed the computer remotely once at 8 a.m. and then again at 1:30 p.m. In the later attempt, authorities say that the hacker increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million.

The plant has removed the remote dashboard software from the computer that was affected. The FBI is now involved in the investigation.

You can watch the press conference below:

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