A recent cyberattack was meant to poison the California water supply

California is one of the prettiest places on earth, and even though the state has lost more than 182,000 residents recently, there are still over 39 million people living there. That’s a lot of people who require something we all need to live, water.


As our infrastructures transition from manual operation to more automated and internet-connected systems, the odds of cyberattacks increase. For example, the water supply is an essential infrastructure that hackers would gladly target if it meant making money.

The recent Colonial Pipeline incident proves that hackers are actively targeting essential operations, and in that case, they walked away with the ransom they asked for. But back in January, hackers targeted the California water supply as well.

According to Newsweek (via NBC News), an unidentified hacker carried out a cyberattack on an unspecified water treatment plant on January 15th in the San Francisco area. The hacker used the username and password of a former employee of the facility to gain access.

The hacker managed to access the former staff member’s TeamViewer account, which allows employees to remotely use their computers, according to a report compiled by the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center in February that was obtained by NBC.

The report claimed that after the hacker logged in to the plant’s system, they deleted several programs that the facility uses to treat the drinking water in the area.

“No failures were reported as a result of this incident, and no individuals in the city reported illness from water-related failures,” the report from the unidentified facility said about the hack.

Read more at Newsweek

California is a massive state with some very large cities and if this hacker had been successful, there’s no telling what sort of damage could have been caused.