Cyber criminal remotely accessed the water system of a city in Florida and managed to increase the amount of sodium hydroxide in the supply to a potentially dangerous level. Sodium hydroxide (lye) is used in small amounts to control acidity in the water. However, a large amount can also lead to a major problem.
Local and federal authorities are investigating how the cyber criminal gained access to the computer, but so far no arrests have been made. It has not been confirmed if it was a local or someone from outside behind the attempt. The attempt failed, still it could have led to mass poisoning if it had been successful.
According to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the cyber criminal was able to breach Oldsmar’s computer system and briefly increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million.
According to the report from the Tampa Bay Times, an attentive supervisor noticed the measurements of the chemical suddenly changing wildly on his computer screen. That led him to take the necessary actions immediately to revert it, leaving the city’s water supply unaffected. And as of now, they have disabled the remote-access system used in this incident.
Right Action on Time Helps You Prevent Cyber Crimes
Fortunately, in this case, the sharp-eyed supervisor noticed the changes to do the needful in the nick of time. However, not everyone is this fortunate. It was in the year 2020 when the first fatality due to a ransomware attack occurred. The lady patient who needed urgent medical care died because of re-routing to a hospital in the city of Wuppertal.
Actually, her initial intended destination was the Duesseldorf hospital, but sadly the hospital couldn’t receive her as they were in the midst of dealing with a ransomware attack. This resulted in her traveling an extra 30 km to get medical assistance. She could have received medical assistance on time and made it alive if it wasn’t for the ransomware attack.
Keeping this in mind, organizations need to realize how following the best cyber security practices can save the day. Currently, cyber attacks have increased drastically and cyber criminals are getting more sophisticated and powerful. The damage caused by the cyber attacks has increased tremendously that even human lives are at stake.
“Security used to be an inconvenience sometimes, but now it’s a necessity all the time,” Martina Navratilova
It is about time for organizations to realize the significance of cyber aware employees in the fight against cyber crime. As stated above, a vigilant and responsible employee saved thousands of lives in the Florida water supply poisoning case.
Similarly, having employees who are cyber vigilant enough to identify and prevent these attacks can stop the majority of such unfortunate incidents from taking place. Consequently, it is critical that organizations keep the employees informed and prepared to face these threats.
ThreatCop: Prepare Your Employees to Combat the Prevailing Cyber Attacks
We have established how a trained employee can help an organization prevent cyber criminals from taking over its systems and assets. So, it is essential for an organization to figure out an effective way of training the employees.
To begin with, organizations will need to provide the knowledge of best security practices and generate awareness about the prevalent cyber threats. When it comes to training the employees, ThreatCop is considered one of the most effective tools by several organizations worldwide.
ThreatCop offers many beneficial features including:
- Automated Security Awareness Program
- Unlimited Cyber Attack Simulation Cycles
- LMS (Automated Training Campaign)
- Dummy Replication of Latest Attacks
- Hack Record of Employees
- Awareness Multi-language support
- Create /Import Templates
The tool assigns an Employee Vulnerability Score (EVS) to all employees for indicating their individual vulnerability level. Doing so helps your employees in becoming the strongest link from the weakest link in the security chain. The best part of the tool is that it can reduce the cyber security risks to your organization by up to 90% in just 30 days.
To completely secure the IT infrastructure of an organization, it is essential to focus on implementing the best cyber security practices. Here are some effective solutions an organization can implement to go along with educating the employees:
- Conduct VAPT to identify the loopholes and weaknesses within the organization’s IT infrastructure and fix them accordingly.
- Keep the software and systems up-to-date with the latest security updates and patches.
- Back up your data regularly so that you don’t lose it in case any incident occurs.
- Install a firewall to block unwanted traffic or unrecognized sources.
- Implement standard email authentication to secure outbound mail flow with tools like KDMARC.
Turn Your Employees Into A Cyber Threat Shield
Make your employees proactive against prevailing cyber attacks with ThreatCop!
The post Cyber Criminal Attempted to Poison Water Supply in Florida appeared first on Kratikal Blog.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Kratikal Blog authored by Richard Singha. Read the original post at: https://www.kratikal.com/blog/cyber-criminal-attempted-to-poison-water-supply-in-florida/