Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘public’

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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In Response to John Goodwin’s FaceBook Post

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 5, 2016

A man named John Goodwin made a public post on FaceBook, which also included a link to an OpEd published in the Washington Post on November 9, 2016, which was written by Charles Camosy (PhD, University of Notre Dame), and entitled “Trump won because college-educated Americans are out of touch.” Dr. Camosy is an Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University, and the author of a book entitled “Beyond the Abortion Wars: A Way Forward for A New Generation.”

Mr. Goodwin’s FaceBook profile is sufficiently ambiguous of himself, though in his public post which is time & date-stamped 9:45AM, November 10, 2016, and ostensibly geolocated from Washington, D.C., he wrote of himself that, “I haven’t posted about the election mostly because 1) I do this for a living and most of you don’t,” which would lead one to suppose that at some level, he works in or with public policy, or more likely, with politicians.

I do not.

However, suffice it to say, that for many, many, many years, I have remained immensely interested in public policy, though I do not now, nor have I ever made my living from it, or influencing, or attempting to influence others in elected office.

In other words, I have taken the high road.

Mr. Goodwin’s public post to FaceBook is linked herein, as is the article upon which he expounded.

https://www.facebook.com/goody37/posts/10154328123133884

In order to fully understand the matter of discussion herein, I encourage the reader to fully read this item following herein, as well as Mr. Goodwin’s post, and the OpEd upon which he opined

I have responded to Mr. Goodwin’s post as follows:
His words appear italicized, and in “quotation marks.”
My commentary follows immediately after.

“…not everyone lives in big cities.”
• That is correct. The United States Census Bureau says that 80.7% of American reside in urban areas. In fact, they report that “the population density in cities is more than 46 times higher than the territory outside of cities.” So that leaves a whopping 19.3% in rural areas.

“I didn’t grow up with money.”
• Money had been invented by the time I was born. But seriously, someone votes for Donald Trump as if the wealthy are advocates for the impoverished or even the average American? C’mon. Mr. Born-With-A-Silver-Spoon-In-His-Mouth? Really?

“…not everyone went to elite colleges.”
• According to the United States Census Bureau, “in 2015, almost 9 out of 10 adults (88 percent) had at least a high school diploma or GED, while nearly 1 in 3 adults (33 percent) held a bachelor’s or higher degree.” I’m in the 33%. So I’m an elite. Thanks!

“You think they (people who eat at Read the rest of this entry »

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Huntsville Hospital Kills Child: Permanently Disabled 1y/o Child Later Died

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Welcome to Alabama, where the legal concept of respondeat superior apparently does NOT apply.

Some would call this murder.

If a person driving drunk kills someone, nowadays, they’re charged with murder – even though they did not plan, or intend upon killing someone (the element of premeditation, or forethought).

But why isn’t Huntsville Hospital charged with murder? (It’s kinda’ difficult to charge a corporation with murder, but it’s quite possible that the officers can be indicted or charged.)

And why aren’t those directly responsible (those in the Recovery Room who were responsible for Gracie’s care) charged with Murder?

It’s painfully obvious some things MUST change in Alabama regarding healthcare.

Girl disabled, later dies, after tonsillectomy at Huntsville Hospital; Alabama public hospitals‘ liability capped at $100,000

By Challen Stephens | cstephens@al.com on December 03, 2012 at 1:03 PM, updated December 03, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Randy Smith and Deedee Smith talk about raising a child with disabilities while Gracelynn, 5, sits in her wheelchair during an interview in their home Monday, November 19, 2012 in Athens, Ala. (Eric Schultz / eschultz@al.com)

Randy Smith and Deedee Smith talk about raising a child with disabilities while Gracelynn, 5, sits in her wheelchair during an interview in their home Monday, November 19, 2012 in Athens, Ala. (Eric Schultz / eschultz@al.com)

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Four years ago, Gracie knew a few dozen words and had just learned to walk backwards. But Gracie had a little trouble breathing at night. Doctors said it would only get worse, so they decided to remove her tonsils.

The surgery lasted less than 15 minutes.

In the recovery room at Huntsville Hospital, Gracie was standing on her bed calling for her mother. “We were told she was having difficulty coming out of anesthesia,” said her father Randy Smith. Nurses said the girl needed to rest to recover. In the recovery room, the family says, she was allowed to stop breathing for more than 10 minutes.

Dan Aldridge, attorney for the Smiths, said Gracie “was not connected to the customary monitoring equipment that sounds an alarm if vital signs reach a dangerous zone.” He said the nurses, three of them, were in the recovery room. At one point, her mother voiced concern. “I was told, ‘Mom, now don’t wake her up, if we get her up, we will never calm her down,” said Dee Dee Smith. “My response was she was not breathing.”

Dee Dee said one of the nurses touched the girl’s foot. It was cold. Aldridge said “code” was called. Medical staff poured into the room. Gracie would spend the next 18 hours in a coma. When Dee Dee finally got to hold her girl again, the girl’s eyes were open but Read the rest of this entry »

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Should you drink Bottled Water?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hello?

Pure & safe drinking water is but one thing taxes are used to provide to the general public.

Hello? Anybody home?

Bottled Water Vs. Tap Water

Remember the drinking fountain, that once ubiquitous, and free, source of H2O? It seems quaint now. Instead, bottled water is everywhere, in offices, airplanes, stores, homes and restaurants across the country.We consumed over eight billion gallons of the stuff in 2006, a 10 percent increase from 2005. It’s refreshing, calorie-free, convenient to carry around, tastier than some tap water and a heck of a lot healthier than sugary sodas. But more and more, people are questioning whether the water, and the package it comes in, is safe, or at least safer than tap water — and if the convenience is worth the environmental impact.

What’s in That Bottle?
Evocative names and labels depicting pastoral scenes have convinced us that the liquid is the purest drink around. “But no one should think that bottled water is better regulated, better protected or safer than tap,” says Eric Goldstein, co-director of the urban program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting health and the environment.

rethink-what-you-drink-01-ch

More than 25% of bottled water comes from a public source. – Dave Robertson/Masterfile

Yes, some bottled water comes from sparkling springs and other pristine sources. But more than 25 percent of it comes from a municipal supply. The water is treated, purified and sold to us, often at a thousandfold increase in price. Most people are surprised to learn that they’re drinking glorified tap water, but bottlers aren’t required to list the source on the label.This year Aquafina will begin stating on labels that its H2O comes from public water sources. And Nestlé Pure Life bottles will indicate whether the water comes from public, private or deep well sources. Dasani acknowledges on its website, but not on the label itself, that it draws from local water.

Labels can be misleading at best, deceptive at worst. In one notorious case, water coming from a well located near a hazardous waste site was sold to many bottlers. At least one of these companies labeled its product “spring water.” In another case, H2O sold as “pure glacier water” came from a public water system in Alaska.

Lisa Ledwidge, 38, of Minneapolis, stopped drinking bottled water a couple of years ago, partly because she found out that many brands come from a municipal supply. “You’re spending more per gallon than you would on gasoline for this thing that you can get out of the tap virtually for free,” she says. “I wondered, Why am I spending this money while complaining about how much gas costs? But you don’t ever hear anyone complain about the price of bottled water.” Ledwidge says she now drinks only filtered tap water.

The controversy isn’t simply about tap vs. bottled water; most people drink both, knowing the importance of plenty of water. What they may not know is that some bottled water may not be as pure as they expect. In 1999 the NRDC tested more than 1,000 bottles of 103 brands of water. (This is the most recent major report on bottled water safety.) While noting that most bottled water is safe, the organization found that at least one sample of a third of the brands contained bacterial or chemical contaminants, including carcinogens, in levels exceeding state or industry standards. Since the report, no major regulatory changes have been made and bottlers haven’t drastically altered their procedures, so the risk is likely still there.

The NRDC found that samples of two brands were contaminated with Read the rest of this entry »

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