FBI, Secret Service Investigate After Hacker Tried to Poison a Florida City’s Water with Lye

A hacker broke into remote access software shared by workers at a Florida city’s water treatment plant in an unsuccessful attempt to fill the water supply with a potentially harmful chemical, authorities said.

An unknown suspect breached a computer system for the city of Oldsmar’s water treatment plant on Friday and briefly increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during a news conference Monday.

Sodium hydroxide, also called lye, is used to treat water acidity, but the compound is also found in cleaning supplies such as soaps and drain cleaners. It can cause irritation, burns and other complications in larger quantities.

Read more from the Associated Press

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