According to US media reports, a hacker visited a water treatment plant in the San Francisco Bay Area in January and deleted the procedures used to treat drinking water. In a recent cyber attack on a US facility, hackers used the username and password of a former employee to log in to the system on January 15 and changed the settings. A security breach was detected the next day, and the California factory changed the agreement and reinstalled the program.
The National Broadcasting Corporation reported that the hacker’s name and motives are not yet clear, and he “attempts to poison” the waters near the Silicon Valley, the global high-tech and software innovation center. It cited a “private report” prepared by the Regional Intelligence Center in February. The report did not specify the facility.
The center’s executive director, Michael Cena, confirmed the hacking incident, but disputed the claims of trying to poison the facility. He told the San Francisco Chronicle, “No one tried to poison any of our water. This is inaccurate.”
According to reports, the hacker used the former employee’s TeamViewer account details to access the water treatment plant’s system. TeamViewer allows one person to remotely access another person’s computer and other gadgets. The program has become very popular and is widely used by employees working from home during the pandemic.
In February, a hacker tried to take control of another water treatment facility in Florida. In that incident, hackers could also access the TeamViewer account associated with the facility and try to increase the lye content in drinking water to toxic levels. An employee found the mouse of the computer he was moving and prevented the disaster that was taking place.
Local officials said that hackers can access the system for about three to five minutes.
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