hackers oldsmar
Commentary,  Issues,  WTF

A Lesson To Be Learned: How Hackers Almost Poisoned An Entire City

How did hackers almost poison the city of Oldsmar when they hacked into the water plant and tried raising levels of lye in the water?

Well, let me see. First, they entered through remote management software that was outdated. I can’t say this clearly enough, but if you have a huge facility that is providing water for an entire city, it’s probably best to keep your remote management software up to date I’d think.

Then, the water plant was using the same passwords on all of their computers. Again I can’t say this clearly enough, don’t do that. That’s a no no. Slap yourself on the wrist and change all your passwords. Make them all different. Have fun with it. It’s a good thing.

I will tell you one thing, hackers have a way of teaching us important things we need to know. Of course, there are bad hackers out there doing bad things. We know about them because of the television shows and movies that have bad hackers in them. And yes, they can do everything that they do in those films…and more.

But there are also good hackers. They have a way of doing things though and the reason is that people don’t listen. What would that conversation have been like if they just called the water plant and told them, “Hey, you have outdated software and you’re using the same passwords on everything. You should update your software as soon as possible and change all your passwords.”

The answer they would have most likely heard would have been, “We’ll get to it.”

Sure, they’ll get to it. Nope. Sometimes, hackers have to demonstrate what they can do and now, people are listening. I hope everyone’s taking caution. Not just water plants but any company, especially those that have lives in their hands. Cars are driving down the streets being governed by computers. Houses are governed by computers. Think about that. Nearly everything in our lives has some kind of software management system running some part of it. All hackable.

Good hackers will always try to show us the vulnerabilities because the bad hackers will always try to exploit them.

What Do You Think?

Michael Allen is the author of the newly released novel The Deeper Dark - When Haven Kayd returns home after being a POW for years, he returns to a world that has moved on without him. As he's playing catchup, the truth comes out about a scheme he was unknowingly the poster boy for and he learns about a hidden world that threatens everything he cares about. Available now at Amazon!