Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘cybersecurity’

Hackers Break Into Oldsmar, Florida Water Treatment System, Attempt To Poison It

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 8, 2021

The threat is real.

Russians aren’t only interested in our elections.

Oldsmar, Florida is northeast of Tampa.


thehill.com

Hackers Breach, Attempt To Poison Florida City’s Water Supply

By Maggie Miller
02/08/21 05:25 PM EST

Officials said Monday that a hacker had breached and attempted to poison the water supply for the city of Oldsmar, Fla., last week, but had been unsuccessful.

Pinellas County, Fla., Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced at a press conference Monday that the hacker had gained control of the operating system at the city’s water treatment facility and had attempted to increase the amount of sodium hydroxide in the water from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million.

“This is obviously a significant and potentially dangerous increase,” Gualtieri told reporters. “Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, is the main ingredient in liquid drain cleaners. It is used to control water acidity and remove metals from drinking water in water treatment plants.”

The hack took place Friday, with one intrusion occurring early in the morning, and a second in the afternoon.

Gualtieri stressed that the treatment center’s operator immediately noticed the increase, with the hacker hijacking the mouse and opening various applications to make the change. The operator on duty immediately reversed the changes made.

“At no time was there a significant adverse effect on the water being treated. Importantly, the public was never in danger,” Gualtieri said. “Even if the plant operator had not quickly reversed the increased amount of sodium hydroxide, it would have taken between 24 and 36 hours for that water to hit the water supply system, and there are redundancies in place where the water had been checked before it was released.”

The sheriff said that his office was working with the FBI and other federal partners to investigate the breach, alongside state and local authorities, and had warned other critical infrastructure groups over the weekend. Gualtieri said the hacker responsible could potentially face state and federal felony charges if caught.

The breach took place two days before the Super Bowl, which took place this year in Tampa, Fla. The city of Oldsmar, which has a population of around 15,000, is located just outside Tampa.

Gualtieri said his office had warned other water treatment plants in the area to be vigilant for attempted cyberattacks, but said there was no evidence any other critical systems had been breached in recent days.

“Right now we do not have a suspect identified, but we do have leads that we are following,” Gualtieri told reporters. “We don’t know right now whether the breach originated from within the United States or outside the country. We also do not know why the Oldsmar system was targeted, and have no knowledge of any other systems being unlawfully accessed.”

Oldsmar Mayor Eric Seidel said at the same press conference that while there were redundancies in the system that almost certainly would have caught the attempted poisoning even if the operator had not noticed the hack, it was critical to be aware of cyber risks.

“The important thing is to put everyone on notice, and I think that is really the purpose of today is to make sure that everyone realizes that these kinds of bad actors are out there, it’s happening, so really take a hard look at what you have in place,” Seidel said.

Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure groups have increased in recent years, with hospitals nationwide seeing a spike in attempted hacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recent hack of IT group SolarWinds by Russian operatives compromising much of the federal government for over a year.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) put out a joint alert last year warning that foreign actors were targeting U.S. critical infrastructure in cyberspace, including water, gas, and electricity systems.

This came months after CISA issued a separate alert warning of potential cyberattacks on critical infrastructure after a U.S. pipeline operator was targeted in 2019.

CISA, which is the key federal agency responsible for securing critical infrastructure, declined to comment to The Hill on if they are involved in the investigation in Oldsmar.

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Russians Attack-Hack American National Security Cyber Infrastructure. Loser In Chief POS45 Does Nothing. Why?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 18, 2020

The President’s ongoing failure to secure America’s national security secrets – which are of significantly greater importance than illegal immigration – has cost untold lives, not only in the military service, but in the clandestine services as well. And precisely because these matters are TOP SECRET, they do NOT make front page news, nightly news, Faux newz, nor any other news gathering and reporting agency, such as the Associated Press.

This failure – which is by no means new, for it happened first in 2018, and can be traced back to 2016 as Russian election interference – can ALL be laid at the feet of the one-term Banana Republican POS45 Loser in Chief also known as “Donald J. Trump.”

There was a reason why the Russians wanted Trump elected.


Romney: “Stunning” That Trump Unresponsive To Russian Cyberattack

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/530738-romney-stunning-for-white-house-not-to-respond-on-russian-cyberattack

Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney said on Thursday that it was “stunning” for the White House to not issue a response regarding multiple Russian cyber attacks upon U.S. government resources.

“I think the White House needs to say something aggressive about what happened. This is almost as if you had a Russian bomber flying undetected over the country, including over the nation’s capital, and not to respond in a setting like that is really stunning,” Romney said to Olivier Knox, SiriusXM’s Chief Washington Correspondent.

Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney 12-17-20 Tweet on Russian cyber hack in US

The senator tweeted an abbreviated version of the statement he told SiriusXM’s Chief Washington Correspondent Olivier Knox in a prerecorded interview, noting the recent reports of Russian hacks into government agencies showed “alarming U.S. vulnerability” and “apparent cyber warfare weakness.”

On Sunday, reports emerged showing that the U.S. Treasury Department and a Commerce Department agency had been breached by a Russian military intelligence unit known as “Cozy Bear,” which is responsible for past hacks into government agencies.

The Republican senator’s comments come one day after Democratic Illinois Senator Dick Durbin voiced similar thoughts about the recent alleged Russian hacks, calling it “virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States and we should take that seriously.”

President Trump has not addressed the latest hacks reported by Reuters on Sunday, and CNBC reported that White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday the administration is “taking a hard look into this.”

The White House had no response when asked about the matter by The Hill.

President-elect Joe Biden continues being outspoken regarding the latest suspected Russian hacking, and said his incoming national security team has been briefed by officials privy to the matter.

The President-elect said in part that, “My administration will make cybersecurity a top priority at every level of government — and we will make dealing with this breach a top priority from the moment we take office. Our adversaries should know that, as president, I will not stand idly by in the face of cyber assaults on our nation.”

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) told congressional staffers this week the perpetrator behind the alleged cyberattack is “highly sophisticated.”

CISA officials said further that “it will take weeks, if not months, to determine the total number of agencies affected by the attack and the extent to which sensitive data and information may have been compromised.”


The hack is so serious it led to a National Security Council meeting at the White House on Saturday, said one of the people familiar with the matter. U.S. officials have not said much publicly beyond the Commerce Department confirming there was a breach at one of its agencies and that they asked the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the FBI to investigate.

National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot added that Read the rest of this entry »

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