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posted by martyb on Friday February 12 2021, @05:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the best-practices-for-insecurity dept.

Breached water plant employees used the same TeamViewer password and no firewall:

The Florida water treatment facility whose computer system experienced a potentially hazardous computer breach last week used an unsupported version of Windows with no firewall and shared the same TeamViewer password among its employees, government officials have reported.

After gaining remote access [...] the unknown intruder increased the amount of sodium hydroxide—a caustic chemical better known as lye—by a factor of 100. The tampering could have caused severe sickness or death had it not been for safeguards the city has in place.

According to an advisory from the state of Massachusetts, employees with the Oldsmar facility used a computer running Windows 7 to remotely access plant controls known as a SCADA—short for “supervisory control and data acquisition”—system. What’s more, the computer had no firewall installed and used a password that was shared among employees for remotely logging in to city systems with the TeamViewer application.

Massachusetts officials wrote:

The unidentified actors accessed the water treatment plant’s SCADA controls via remote access software, TeamViewer, which was installed on one of several computers the water treatment plant personnel used to conduct system status checks and to respond to alarms or any other issues that arose during the water treatment process. All computers used by water plant personnel were connected to the SCADA system and used the 32-bit version of the Windows 7 operating system. Further, all computers shared the same password for remote access and appeared to be connected directly to the Internet without any type of firewall protection installed.

[....] The revelations illustrate the lack of security rigor found inside many critical infrastructure environments.

It was a 32-bit computer; so they wisely had Windows 7 instead of XP.

See also:
recent SoylentNews article about this, attempt to poison the water supply of residents in Oldsmar, Forida.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Remote Attacker Tries to Poison Water Supply of Oldsmar, Florida 36 comments

Hacker tries to poison water supply of Florida city

A computer hacker gained access to the water system of a city in Florida and tried to pump in a "dangerous" amount of a chemical, officials say.

The hacker briefly increased the amount of sodium hydroxide (lye) in Oldsmar's water treatment system, but a worker spotted it and reversed the action. Lye is used in small amounts to control acidity but a large amount could have caused major problems in the water.

Oldsmar Mayor Eric Seidel said: "There's a bad actor out there." No arrests have yet been made and it is not known if the hack was done from within the US or outside.

A computer controlling Oldsmar's water treatment system was remotely accessed on Friday. A plant operator saw an attempt to access the system in the morning but assumed it was his supervisor, the Tampa Bay Times reported. But another attempt was made early in the afternoon and this time the hacker accessed the treatment software and increased the sodium hydroxide content from 100 parts per million to 11,100 ppm. The operator immediately reduced the level to normal.

Also at CNN, Ars Technica, and WWSB.


Original Submission

Chinese Malware Removed From SOHO Routers After FBI Issues Covert Commands 15 comments

https://arstechnica.com/security/2024/01/chinese-malware-removed-from-soho-routers-after-fbi-issues-covert-commands/

The US Justice Department said Wednesday that the FBI surreptitiously sent commands to hundreds of infected small office and home office routers to remove malware China state-sponsored hackers were using to wage attacks on critical infrastructure.

The routers—mainly Cisco and Netgear devices that had reached their end of life—were infected with what's known as KV Botnet malware, Justice Department officials said.

[...] "To effect these seizures, the FBI will issue a command to each Target Device to stop it from running the KV Botnet VPN process," an agency special agent wrote in an affidavit dated January 9. "This command will also stop the Target Device from operating as a VPN node, thereby preventing the hackers from further accessing Target Devices through any established VPN tunnel.

[...] The takedown disclosed Wednesday isn't the first time the FBI has issued commands to infected devices without the owners' knowledge ahead of time. In 2021, authorities executed a similar action to disinfect Microsoft Exchange servers that had been compromised by a different China-state group tracked as Hafnium.

[...] In 2018, researchers reported that more than 500,000 SOHO routers had been compromised by sophisticated malware dubbed VPNFilter. The mass hack was later revealed to be an operation by a Russian-state group tracked as Sofacy. In that event, the FBI issued an advisory urging people to restart their routers to remove any possible infections. The agency also seized a domain used to control VPNFilter.

[...] This month's takedown comes as the Chinese government has stepped up attacks in recent years to compromise routers, cameras, and other network-connected devices to target critical infrastructure. warned of the trend in May last year. Researchers in the private sector have issued similar warnings.

Previously on SoylentNews:
Backdoored Firmware Lets China State Hackers Control Routers With "Magic Packets" - 20230930
Microsoft Comes Under Blistering Criticism for "Grossly Irresponsible" Security - 20230805
Malware Turns Home Routers Into Proxies for Chinese State-Sponsored Hackers - 20230518
US Warns of Govt Hackers Targeting Industrial Control Systems - 20220415
State Hackers Breach Defense, Energy, Healthcare Orgs Worldwide - 20211111
Microsoft Exchange Server Zero Day Hack Roundup - 20210316
Breached Water Plant Employees Shared Same Password, No Firewall - 20210211
Iranian Spies Accidentally Leaked Videos of Themselves Hacking - 20200716
Hackers Can Seize Control of Ballots Cast Using the Voatz Voting App, Researchers Say - 20200215
Microsoft Takes Court Action Against Fourth Nation-State Cybercrime Group - 20191231

"state actors" search on SoylentNews for even more: https://soylentnews.org/search.pl?threshold=0&query=state+actors


Original Submission

“Disabling Cyberattacks” Are Hitting Critical US Water Systems, White House Warns 36 comments

https://arstechnica.com/security/2024/03/critical-us-water-systems-face-disabling-cyberattacks-white-house-warns/

The Biden administration on Tuesday warned the nation's governors that drinking water and wastewater utilities in their states are facing "disabling cyberattacks" by hostile foreign nations that are targeting mission-critical plant operations.

"Disabling cyberattacks are striking water and wastewater systems throughout the United States," Jake Sullivan, assistant to the president for National Security Affairs, and Michael S. Regan, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, wrote in a letter. "These attacks have the potential to disrupt the critical lifeline of clean and safe drinking water, as well as impose significant costs on affected communities."

[...] The letter extended an invitation for secretaries of each state's governor to attend a meeting to discuss better securing the water sector's critical infrastructure. It also announced that the EPA is forming a Water Sector Cybersecurity Task Force to identify vulnerabilities in water systems. The virtual meeting will take place on Thursday.

"EPA and NSC take these threats very seriously and will continue to partner with state environmental, health, and homeland security leaders to address the pervasive and challenging risk of cyberattacks on water systems," Regan said in a separate statement.

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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @06:23AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @06:23AM (#1111862)

    This again? It is Florida! Filled with "Florida Men", not to mention Matt Gaetz, who is a Florida man. And Marco Rubio who is not a Florida man, but a Cuban who abandoned and betrayed his own country, or at least his father, Raphael Cruz, did. Not to mention, Rick Scott, Bat-boy of the Weekly World News, back when that was still being published. And What's his name, the current Gov, prosecuting scientists studying the spread of COVID-19, so that DisneyWorld might open sooner. What was his name? Truly, does not matter, as these are all "Florida Men". No names necessary, since that one denominator means, stupid Republicans taking advantage of the aged voters with dementia.

    So, letting someone put something in the water? What do all those old retirees do in the pool? Or beside the stream or the "Grass River"? Not to mention the Reservoir? Florida men, and Women. Penis of America, when you look at a map.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @02:36PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @02:36PM (#1111957)

      In a few short decades it will all be lost under the sea. Like Atlantis but more backward.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday February 12 2021, @04:46PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 12 2021, @04:46PM (#1111994) Journal

        I think it may take until the end of the century at least, until Walt Disney World is under water. That's a bit more than just a few short decades. Long enough that it won't impact us in our lifetime. So we don't need to be worried about environ mental concerns if we don't care out our children or our posterity.

        --
        With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @06:44AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @06:44AM (#1111865)
    Flint did a better job of poisoning people.
    • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Friday February 12 2021, @09:01AM (5 children)

      by Common Joe (33) <reversethis-{moc ... 1010.eoj.nommoc}> on Friday February 12 2021, @09:01AM (#1111892) Journal

      Sadly, taken together, these two items do show a human knack for not understanding risks and how to manage risks.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @02:37PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @02:37PM (#1111958)

        Lesson learned. Never change the pipes or the water supply or touch anything. In short, DON'T fuck up. Thanks for the reminder.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Friday February 12 2021, @04:48PM (2 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 12 2021, @04:48PM (#1111996) Journal

          There are no lessons learned here.

          Managers have made major screwups for decades. Major. And for a long time. Does it ever stop? Do they ever actually learn?

          --
          With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DECbot on Friday February 12 2021, @05:15PM (1 child)

            by DECbot (832) on Friday February 12 2021, @05:15PM (#1112003) Journal

            No. You constantly have to constantly encourage managers not to meddle when things are working fine. As once preached by the BOFH, a 10,000V difference should be observed between the server chassis and the floor of the server room so any manager that thinks they can simply reboot a server when a service is down will get a reminder of why it is not wise to piss on an electric fence. A well trained manager will not act until you tell him what to do. Next time, he will wait for you to tell him the cattle fence is off and it is safe to press the reset switch instead of him rebooting a server while you're ssh'ed in and editing broken firewall config.

            --
            cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Friday February 12 2021, @05:48PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 12 2021, @05:48PM (#1112013) Journal

              If an unqualified manager has access to the physical server, then you have a physical security problem.

              --
              With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Friday February 12 2021, @03:03PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday February 12 2021, @03:03PM (#1111968) Homepage Journal

        In Flint's case, it wasn't ignorance, it was apathy. "They're Black and they're poor, who gives a fuck if they live or die?" Simply institutional racism, and institutional classism.

        --
        mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @07:08AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @07:08AM (#1111872)

    Perhaps they should replace all responsible (and that's way more than just the people typing the password!) with the pigs from the other article: Pigs Trained to Play Joystick-Controlled Video Game.

    It may very well turn out as an improvement.

    All hail our porcine underlings.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by lentilla on Friday February 12 2021, @08:01AM (14 children)

    by lentilla (1770) on Friday February 12 2021, @08:01AM (#1111879)

    It's an inside job. My guess is that management have repeatedly ignored warnings about the security of their infrastructure. Now someone (likely a group of employees) has done something with the deliberate intention of creating a public panic. Now the worst issues will be fixed.

    • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @09:04AM (12 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @09:04AM (#1111893)

      Plausible. Some grunt thinks that "this is unnaceptable, its my g-d given duty to fuck this up", and does that.

      Seen it happen with my own eyes, cleaned it up, watched guards escort them out of the building after i identified them.

      There's a french word for it, sabotage.

      The setup they will replace this improvised jumphost with, will present a larger attack surface to the network, will cost more and accept remote updates.

      A net win for security. Ahahaha.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by PiMuNu on Friday February 12 2021, @09:19AM (8 children)

        by PiMuNu (3823) on Friday February 12 2021, @09:19AM (#1111896)

        Why does a water treatment plant need remote ops at all? Can be fixed with money and modest management (e.g. fix-it crew on site, or an on-call rota). May work cheaper than technical solution.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @09:54AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @09:54AM (#1111904)

          Because MUH CORONA!!! You are not allowed to operate Water Treatment Console without 80 masks on, which makes it physically impossible to touch the controls, and the weight snaps your neck.

          • (Score: 2) by Tork on Friday February 12 2021, @03:47PM

            by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 12 2021, @03:47PM (#1111977)

            Because MUH CORONA!!! You are not allowed to operate Water Treatment Console without 80 masks on, which makes it physically impossible to touch the controls, and the weight snaps your neck.

            You get a lot of your news in meme-form, dontcha.

            --
            🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
          • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Friday February 12 2021, @06:00PM

            by PiMuNu (3823) on Friday February 12 2021, @06:00PM (#1112016)

            No. Colleagues on operations at my work place are perfectly fine operating complex equipment despite corona virus. This is no excuse.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @11:52AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @11:52AM (#1111923)

          lazyness, lack of awareness that the Net of Thousand Lies is a warzone (i doubt these people ever felt what a warzone really is, anyway) and always has been, desire to access data from anywhere, inability to construct a proper solution due to lack of: time, resources, clues, giving a fuck.

          Lack of thinking it through, lack of modelling failure modes, a desire to just get it done.
          Representation of nigh-infinitely complex and nonlinear field (INFOSEC) as having easy(!) simple(!!) technical solutions (!!!).

          Same as any and every company where the compliance and liability and yearly bonus are the deciding factors, and not "will this garbage work?" or "is it even useful?".

          These people usually have no interest in technological superiority.
          Risk and Compliance say its ok - fuck you, ticket closed.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @02:40PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @02:40PM (#1111961)

            > These people usually have no interest in technological superiority.

            It's not in the budget. Make do with what you've got. Your record has been noted.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday February 12 2021, @01:26PM (1 child)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday February 12 2021, @01:26PM (#1111938)

          It was caught because an employee on site noticed the cursor moving itself on the screen.

          Remote management is just "the modern way" which means that the on site employees can let someone who knows what they are actually doing do the changes themselves instead of playing the telephone game: Set pump 2 to 130 and valve 3 to 210, which ends up being executed as valve 2 to 210 and pump 3 to 310 because of a garbled cell connection and total lack of understanding on the part of the late shift new hire intern who's mostly studying to get his GED while "attending" the systems overnight.

          Water management runs on a quasi-political budget, expecting efficient management is... optimistic, especially in a small town in a high growth area like Oldsmar.

          A hopeful tin-foil hat wearer might think that "the powers that be" targeted Oldsmar to make an example of, do no actual harm but create a national level story that can serve as a prod to get the better WMDs of the country to clean up their own acts, and for the ones that don't sweep through with security inspections with mandatory standards to implement.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 13 2021, @04:08AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 13 2021, @04:08AM (#1112213)

            Why would you punch down on someone working on a GED?

            If I had brains, I would have taken the GED in my teams, instead of wasting 4 years at a Public Highschool.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday February 12 2021, @04:50PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 12 2021, @04:50PM (#1111998) Journal

          Why does a water treatment plant need remote ops at all?

          How do you expect remote contractor workers in third world countries to do their jobs? Actually physically be at the plant?

          --
          With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
      • (Score: 2) by lentilla on Friday February 12 2021, @11:43AM (2 children)

        by lentilla (1770) on Friday February 12 2021, @11:43AM (#1111919)

        sabotage

        Not quite. Sabotage would blowing the treatment facility up. This fits more into the category of "effectively communicating serious issues in a controlled fashion before people get hurt". Sabotage is selfish - warning people that their water treatment facility will get pwned is civic minded.

        We suspend the drivers' licences of boy racers who do 150mph in residential streets for the same reason. "But everything was fine, officer, nobody got hurt", they wail. "This time, yes", replies the officer, "this time we were lucky - but it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt."

        It's a water treatment plant. If it needs to be remote controlled, the bosses can phone their instructions in to a trusted lieutenant. As others have said, it should not be connected to the Internet; and; in the interests of accountability, the boss and their lieutenant should be consistent - not "next off the rank" in an offshore call centre. At the end of the day, it is a public utility (no matter who the owner happens to be) and one of the things a first-world population expects is safe drinking water. Having someone "on the job" is not a huge ask, nor an unwarranted expense.

        The setup they will replace this improvised jumphost with, will present a larger attack surface to the network, will cost more and accept remote updates.

        In that, I suspect you are quite correct. In an ideal scenario this incident would give everyone the opportunity to re-access the plant's safety design, specifically with the political will to spend money where it needs to be spent.

        Let's hope cool heads prevail, and the majority of the effort is spent of improving their plant systems rather than locating a scapegoat.

        I leave by saying if you connect it to the Internet the only question is "how long until we are hacked?" Critical infrastructure needs to be staffed by an experienced and consistent team, and a boss that is empowered to listen to their staff and tell anyone that tries to cut corners "no".

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @12:10PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @12:10PM (#1111925)

          Thank you for your reply.

          As i see it:

          Motivation is mostly irrelevant (from my POV as admin of the network).

          Daily production _must happen_, all unauthorised changes that even remotely endanger production are sabotage.

          While i agree that minor/symbolic acts of sabotage can be good and provide awareness to people who do not want to be aware of the problems,... it still rubs me the wrong way.
          This is a waterworks, so i suppose whoever changed the values knew what they were doing and so danger to people was minimal.

          Had it been on my network, id appreciate an informal heads-up from the dude doing it so that its not a surprise, i guess.
          I wouldn't rat him out, and would deny that i ever spoke to him should management ask, and would provide workarounds around my monitoring.

          I'm all for non-traditional solutions to non-traditional problems, but the hierarchy of power must be respected, i mean... like,...
          Them owners/management entrust me their hardware to babysit and configure, the least i can do is to do what they ask.

          "Let's hope cool heads prevail, and the majority of the effort is spent of improving their plant systems rather than locating a scapegoat." - absolutely agree, its very important to look at these things constructively.

          In the end, that is what people pay us the wages for.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by legont on Friday February 12 2021, @12:38PM

          by legont (4179) on Friday February 12 2021, @12:38PM (#1111928)

          Let's hope cool heads prevail, and the majority of the effort is spent of improving their plant systems rather than locating a scapegoat.

          The plant system will be improved, but the safeguard one the city has - the one that worked - will be removed because, well, they have state of the art system now. No need for old geezers pointing their greasy fingers at us.

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DECbot on Friday February 12 2021, @05:16PM

      by DECbot (832) on Friday February 12 2021, @05:16PM (#1112004) Journal

      Yep, management will fire these guys and hire people that won't report public safety issues.

      --
      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
  • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @08:19AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @08:19AM (#1111883)

    T e r r y * D a v i s:

        His body was recovered following a brutal attack by a clandestine intelligence agency involving a train. Refitted with cyborg like electronics, his new organs grant him a new life and a new friendship. No longer pounding the streets in homelessness, Terry Davis now works with the underground vigilante group AGT (Anti Glow Team). Through it all Terry erects an electronic temple, but can he control the power he has programmed into existence?

    Rated MA for mature (brief nudity, alcohol, drugs, extreme violence and language)

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by esperto123 on Friday February 12 2021, @11:50AM (2 children)

    by esperto123 (4303) on Friday February 12 2021, @11:50AM (#1111922)

    My $diety, the authorities are promoting this as a huge hack, terrorism level of attack, practically done by an enemy state, when in reality it was probably done by some kid that scanned for open teamviewer connections and brute forced the password or even worse, found the credentials online, posted by one of the employees, and got in out of curiosity. I bet whomever changed the values wasn't trying to poison the city, was just messing around.

    And about the out of date software and not having firewall, this is very common in industrial systems, they put something to work and don't mess with it because can cause downtime, but even if the software was the most up to date and protected by a well configured firewall, they had a open teamviewer session on the machine, so it wouldn't have mattered.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @02:35PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @02:35PM (#1111955)

      The story was submitted by DannyB, so there is probably a partisan angle involved.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday February 12 2021, @04:54PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 12 2021, @04:54PM (#1111999) Journal

        While I am happy to talk about politics, I had no political consideration in submitting the article.

        1. I saw it. (not with a power saw)
        2. Thought it was interesting.
        3. Quoted it with links.
        4. Seasoned to taste with a couple lame jokes ("dept" line, and a concluding sentence.)
        5. Clicked Submit.

        --
        With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
  • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Friday February 12 2021, @03:01PM (7 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) on Friday February 12 2021, @03:01PM (#1111966) Homepage Journal

    Oldsmar is a tiny town. I don't actually mind them having Win7 (but 32-bit? These are *old* machines). The poor password security is a classic human problem. What gets your attention is running a network of Windows machines with no firewall. How are they even on the internet? Every halfway modern router has some sort of built-in firewall. Likely, they are running on a modem of the same vintage as their 32-bit machines.

    At a guess, someone set up their network 10 to 15 years ago, and no competent IT person has looked at at it since. That is the fundamental issue. Every organization, no matter how small, needs to have some sort of regular IT support. You can't just stuff things in a closet and forget about them.

    Of course, it is also possible that they have IT support and ignored warnings that they needed to do something.

    Either way, this is purely a management failure.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Friday February 12 2021, @03:26PM (4 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Friday February 12 2021, @03:26PM (#1111974)

      It's almost as though governments being starved of cash and forced to skimp on routine maintenance sorts of tasks (both electronic and physical) has consequences sooner or later.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Friday February 12 2021, @03:31PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday February 12 2021, @03:31PM (#1111976)

        governments being starved of cash

        Don't you know? That's how you Make America Great Again. Bootstraps, shoestrings, chronic starvation budgets - hell, look at what the Russkies accomplished and their people don't even have enough food to eat!

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @06:45PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12 2021, @06:45PM (#1112038)

        oh please! give these windows using morons more of my money? fuck you, slave.

        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday February 12 2021, @08:55PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Friday February 12 2021, @08:55PM (#1112098)

          I'd gladly give the government an extra $100 if that meant that my water wasn't poisonous to drink.

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 13 2021, @04:10AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 13 2021, @04:10AM (#1112215)

        Are they forced on skimping due to lowering of Taxes, evaporating tax base, or extremely unfundable pensions for government employees?

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday February 12 2021, @03:27PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday February 12 2021, @03:27PM (#1111975)

      My home networks have had firewalls since they were first installed in the late 1990s, same for office networks. I think I may have run one PC direct on an unfirewalled cable modem once or twice in the last 20 years, and never for more than a few minutes.

      I would guess that this place had one computer that was installed to do some central SCADA stuff in the 90s, justification: better control with reduced manpower (saves money). At some point, they decided that they also wanted to surf the internet from that computer so they got a very minimal budget for internet access, justification: it's the 2000s and we need internet access like every modern facility. Some point later a bright young employee pointed out they can use TeamViewer to access remotely, making remote advice on operational issues more reliable than playing telephone tag, justification: not required, DIY.

      Oversight of IT operations at locations like this: nonexistent, until this story broke. Net effect of widely publicized hacker breach: should be hugely beneficial at all kinds of infrastructure sites around the country and even world. Reputation of Oldsmar: status quo, unaffected, everybody already knew they are staffed and managed by central Floridamen, only surprising that the story didn't involve something more outrageously stupid to the non-IT savvy crowd too.

      I'd be unsurprised if this were actually an FBI operative who infiltrated the organization as a new employee, found the vulnerability and outed it like this for the PR.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Friday February 12 2021, @05:11PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 12 2021, @05:11PM (#1112001) Journal

        I would guess that this place had one computer that was installed to do some central SCADA stuff in the 90s, justification: better control with reduced manpower (saves money). At some point, they decided that they also wanted to surf the internet from that computer so they got a very minimal budget for internet access, justification: it's the 2000s and we need internet access like every modern facility. Some point later a bright young employee pointed out they can use TeamViewer to access remotely, making remote advice on operational issues more reliable than playing telephone tag, justification: not required, DIY.

        Oversight of IT operations at locations like this: nonexistent, until this story broke.

        Your speculation may very well be correct.

        My home networks have had firewalls since they were first installed in the late 1990s, same for office networks. I think I may have run one PC direct on an unfirewalled cable modem once or twice in the last 20 years, and never for more than a few minutes.

        Just remembering . . . (off topic . . .)

        My wife and I had been using a high speed (32 Kbps) modem dial up internet before most people even knew what that was. Before web browsers existed. The staple services were Usenet, Email, Telnet and FTP. Those were supplemented with Veronica to find good FTP downloads, etc. And there was AOL, such as it was.

        I was privileged to live in an area that got some of the first primitive cable modems in the early 1990s. Some kind of Zenith brand modem and it wasn't sophisticated. It had one Ethernet jack. With a "hub" (not switch, if you remember ethernet "hubs", just basic brainless "repeaters") I was able to connect a couple very modern at that time Macintosh computers to it and use the major staple services I mentioned. (Mac had some very nice GUI clients for all of those -- especially Usenet and binary downloads.) Those were the daze.

        When I got my first Linux box in June 1999, it immediately became the home router / firewall. I had read countless articles about Linux and how to set things up for a couple years before finally taking the plunge and getting a PC with Linux. Not wanting to touch actual hardware, I got it from a company that built it with Linux pre-installed. But within weeks I switched to SuSE. Set up NAT (learned IPCHAINS, remember that?), my own DHCP, local DNS (bind), and various servers. Within a few years I gave up on maintaining an email server. But it was fun for a while.

        I learned that I could see all my neighbors' packets. The reason our two Macintosh's had worked is that they could both DHCP to the head end and get IP addresses. There weren't pre-assigned addresses.

        But soon the cable company switched to a newer, incompatible, (early) standards compliant new modem. It was capable of supporting a static IP address if I wanted to pay extra, so I did and still do.

        --
        With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
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