Kansas man indicted in connection with 2019 hack at water utility

A U.S. grand jury has indicted a 22-year-old man for allegedly hacking the computer system of a rural water utility in Kansas and shutting down processes that affect procedures for cleaning and disinfecting water. Federal prosecutors allege in an indictment unsealed Wednesday that Wyatt Travnichek logged into Ellsworth County Rural Water District’s computer system in 2019 as part of an “unauthorized remote intrusion” that resulted “in the shut-down of the facility’s processes.” Travnichek is accused of tampering with a water system, and causing “reckless damage to a protected computer.” The charges carry maximum prison sentences of 20 years and five years, respectively. Angela Naegele, a customer service specialist at the water utility who answered the phone Thursday, said the 2019 incident had no impact on customers’ drinking water. The utility continuously monitors its water quality and safety, Naegele added. The facility serves Ellsworth County, a county of about 6,100 people […]

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Compact imaging system promises to reinvent monitoring of metal fatigue

Things don’t fall from the sky without a damn good reason. US lawyers Baum Hedlund, who specialize in litigation concerning transport accidents, lists human errors as the main reasons (53 percent) for aircraft crashes, followed by manufacturing defects… Continue reading Compact imaging system promises to reinvent monitoring of metal fatigue

Florida hack highlights security shortages in US water sector

A hack that apparently affected a Florida water facility’s chemical setting is emblematic of a water sector that’s short on money, cybersecurity personnel and often reliant on the practices of vendors, experts say. The Feb. 5 incident in Oldsmar, a Florida town of 15,000 people, involved a still-unidentified hacker infiltrating the local water treatment facility’s computer system and trying to increase the amount of sodium hydroxide to a potentially dangerous level, local authorities said. The substance is used in the water purification process but can be toxic at higher levels. No harm was done to public health — the facility had safety checks in place — but the level of access obtained by the attacker has prompted calls for tighter security in the sector. The breach is an uncomfortable reminder that water facilities struggle to invest as much money in effective security as other industrial organizations, even as they face “an […]

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Hacker breached Florida water facility to alter sodium hydroxide level, police say

An unidentified hacker on Feb. 5 broke into the computer system of a water treatment plant for a town outside of Tampa, Florida, and temporarily changed the plant’s sodium hydroxide setting to a potentially dangerous level, local authorities said Monday. The attacker changed the level of sodium hydroxide in the water treatment plant in the town of Oldsmar from about 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million, said Bob Gualtieri, the sheriff of Pinellas County, Florida. Treatment plants use sodium hydroxide to make water drinkable, but it can be unsafe for people in large quantities. The breach did not cause any harm to public health, but it is a stark reminder of the risks that come with increasingly digitized critical infrastructure. “This is somebody that is trying, at least it appears on the surface, to do something bad … It’s a bad actor,” Gualtieri said at a press […]

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The Right to Privacy: Navigating Personal, Physical and Digital Safety

CW/TW: This article mentions the implications that privacy and data can have on domestic abuse and violence. Zoe Rose is a cybersecurity consultant and recognized as one of the 50 most influential women in cybersecurity. In this episode Zoe explains wh… Continue reading The Right to Privacy: Navigating Personal, Physical and Digital Safety

Beam Dump Makes Sure Your Laser Path is Safely Terminated

Between hot things, sharp things, and spinny things, there’s more than enough danger in the average hacker’s shop to maim and mutilate anyone who fails to respect their power. But somehow lasers don’t seem to earn the same healthy fear, …read more

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Safety coating causes heat-damaged ropes to change color

When a rope is heated – either by friction or by fire – it may lose its structural integrity, subsequently breaking when put under load. A new surface coating, however, could cause ropes to change color if they’ve been overheated, providing a warning t… Continue reading Safety coating causes heat-damaged ropes to change color

Water And Molten Aluminium Is A Dangerous Combination

It is not uncommon for a Hackaday writer to trawl the comments section of a given article, looking for insights or to learn something new. Often, those with experience in various fields will share kernels of knowledge or raise questions on a particular topic. Recently, I happened to be glazing …read more

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LUCI adds collision avoidance and anti-tip tech to powered wheelchairs

If you’re the user of a powered wheelchair, it goes without saying that you really don’t want that chair to tip over, or to crash into obstacles. The LUCI system – which gets added to existing chairs – is intended to keep those things from happening.Co… Continue reading LUCI adds collision avoidance and anti-tip tech to powered wheelchairs