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Cyberattack Raises Alarm in Canada at Florida Water Treatment Plant

Cyberattack Raises Alarm in Canada at Florida Water Treatment Plant

Infosys advocates across North America are on alert after a dangerous actor hacked into a water treatment plant in a city near Tampa and changed the chemical balance used by 15,000 area residents to drink drinking water.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told a news conference Monday that someone used a computer for the City of Oldsmer water treatment system on Friday and increased the amount of sodium hydroxide by a factor of more than 100, known as lye. Also known as

The Tampa Bay Times stated that the chemical is used in small amounts to control the acidity of water, but is also a corrosive compound commonly found in household cleaning supplies such as liquid drain cleaners.

Oldsammer's water supply was not affected, as an observer working remotely changed the concentration on his computer screen and quickly corrected it. The city also disabled the remote access system used in the attack.

City officials said there are several safety measures in place to prevent contaminated water from entering the water supply.

News of the incident caught a Canadian expert off guard. “Something is rare in a way where it is that type of success. It's a little different than the constant [IT network] attacks you get, "said Greg Solecki, a Vancouver-based incident response planning consultant for Canadian water facilities and a former national president for the Emergency and Safety of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association said. Committee. The CWWA represents local water treatment providers.

On the other hand, Ed Dubrovsky, chief operating officer of the Toronto-based incident response firm Cytitens, said he was "not surprised" to hear of the attack. He said his firm had seen 20 cyber attacks on municipalities that could affect or affect all of their critical infrastructure, including water treatment. He agreed that many small Canadian municipalities are generally not prepared for a cyber attack.

Dubrovsky said that what is different about the Florida attack is clearly not financially motivated. Many of the attackers would have brought down the water treatment system and demanded money to restore control of the city. In Oldsamer, inspiration seemed to harm people. He said it could also be a "proof of concept" for a threatened actor.

According to Reuters, reporters were told that the Alldesmer attacker took advantage of the utility of a remote access software called Team Viewer. It is not known whether the attacker used a brute force attack to obtain credentials, obtain stolen credentials, or exploit the vulnerability. Last August, a cyber security researcher from Praetorian discovered a high-risk vulnerability in TeamViewer for Windows (CVE-2020-13699). The vulnerability is caused by not properly quoting its custom URI handlers. If a user with an installed insecure version of TeamViewer is tricked into visiting a malicious website, the site may hold their hashed password for offline password cracking.

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