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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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Transcript of Bill Clinton’s Speech to the Democratic National Convention

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 10, 2012

Transcript of Bill Clinton’s Speech to the Democratic National Convention

The following is the full text of former President Bill Clinton’s speech on Wednesday from the Democratic National Convention.

September 5, 2012

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. (Sustained cheers, applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Now, Mr. Mayor, fellow Democrats, we are here to nominate a president. (Cheers, applause.) And I’ve got one in mind. (Cheers, applause.)

I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. I want to nominate a man who ran for president to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before his election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression; a man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs that he saved or created, there’d still be millions more waiting, worried about feeding their own kids, trying to keep their hopes alive.

I want to nominate a man who’s cool on the outside — (cheers, applause) — but who burns for America on the inside. (Cheers, applause.)

I want — I want a man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new American Dream economy, driven by innovation and creativity, but education and — yes — by cooperation. (Cheers.)

And by the way, after last night, I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama. (Cheers, applause.)

You know — (cheers, applause). I — (cheers, applause).

I want — I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. (Cheers, applause.) And I proudly nominate him to be the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party.

Now, folks, in Tampa a few days ago, we heard a lot of talk — (laughter) — all about how the president and the Democrats don’t really believe in free enterprise and individual initiative, how we want everybody to be dependent on the government, how bad we are for the economy.

This Republican narrative — this alternative universe — (laughter, applause) — says that every one of us in this room who amounts to anything, we’re all completely self-made. One of the greatest chairmen the Democratic Party ever had, Bob Strauss — (cheers, applause) — used to say that ever politician wants every voter to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself. (Laughter, applause.) But, as Strauss then admitted, it ain’t so. (Laughter.)

We Democrats — we think the country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor folks to work their way into it — (cheers, applause) — with a relentless focus on the future, with business and government actually working together to promote growth and broadly share prosperity. You see, we believe that “we’re all in this together” is a far better philosophy than “you’re on your own.” (Cheers, applause.) It is.

So who’s right? (Cheers.) Well, since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats, 24. In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private sector jobs.

So what’s the job score? Republicans, 24 million; Democrats, 42 (million). (Cheers, applause.)

Now, there’s — (cheers, applause) — there’s a reason for this. It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics. (Cheers, applause.) Why? Because poverty, discrimination and ignorance restrict growth. (Cheers, applause.) When you stifle human potential, when you don’t invest in new ideas, it doesn’t just cut off the people who are affected; it hurts us all. (Cheers, applause.) We know that investments in education and infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase growth. They increase good jobs, and they create new wealth for all the rest of us. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, there’s something I’ve noticed lately. You probably have too. And it’s this. Maybe just because I grew up in a different time, but though I often disagree with Republicans, I actually never Read the rest of this entry »

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