How safe is trench water in Florida

Florida: Hacker wanted to poison drinking water remotely

Hackers attacked the safe drinking water in the city of Oldsmar, Florida. An employee of the groundwater treatment plant was able to thwart the attack, the local sheriff explained on Monday. The employee observed live how his mouse pointer moved as if by magic and the setting for the supply of sodium hydroxide changed from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million.

The employee reacted immediately, even before an acid measuring system had sounded the alarm. According to the information, the hacker installed a back door at 8 a.m. local time on Friday and then returned at 1:30 p.m. to manipulate the setting. The sheriff gave no information at his press conference about possible motives or suspects.

Close to the superbowl

Sodium hydroxide, also called caustic soda, is added to drinking water in small quantities to regulate the acidity. This prevents corrosion and thus reduces the release of toxic lead in lead pipes. In higher concentrations, however, sodium hydroxide breaks down tissue, which is why it is used in high concentrations as a drain cleaner.

Controlled tests with sodium hydroxide solutions on human skin have shown no reaction at 0.05 percent sodium hydroxide, slight skin irritation at 0.5 percent and severe irritation from 4 percent. 11,100 parts per million correspond to 1.11 percent. Up to the tap in households, the value would probably have fallen a little.

Oldsmar has almost 15,000 inhabitants and is named after the automobile pioneer Ransom E. Olds, who also gave the car brands Oldsmobile and REO its name. Olds was a large landowner in the region about a hundred years ago. Two days after the attack, the 55th Superbowl took place in neighboring Tampa.

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