WASHINGTON — A hacker gained access to a water treatment system in a Florida town last week and boosted levels of sodium hydroxide — otherwise known as lye — to dangerous levels before it was detected and reversed.
That kind of attack has been growing in recent years as more and more industrial control systems are operated through the internet and as information on how to break into them is spreading online.
“This is something we have been observing happening recently, more and more often around 2020,” Daniel Kapellmann Zafra, an analyst at Mandiant Threat Intelligence, a unit of the cybersecurity research firm FireEye, said in an interview. “The reason this is happening is because information about how to interact with these systems, like industrial control systems, is becoming more easily available. … You can find tutorials online.”
Though most incidents tend to be small and don’t result in any