The water in a Tampa Bay plant was hacked remotely, raising the lye to dangerous levels

Hackers managed to break into a Tampa Bay water plant and momentarily poison the water, remotely, on Friday. Fortunately, a plant operator noticed his mouse moving across his computer screen. Although he thought it was nothing at first, minutes later he noticed the levels of sodium hydroxide – or lye, used in liquid drain cleaners – shoot up from 100 parts per million to more than 11,100 parts per million, "a hazardous level that could sicken residents and corrode pipes," according to The Washington Post.

Fortunately the operator caught the hack soon enough to change the levels back before the water could cause harm.

From The Washington Post:

But the near miss incident was the latest alarming sign that critical infrastructure in the United States is vulnerable to cyberattacks. In July, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned that infrastructure like water and power plants, emergency services and transportation systems make "attractive targets for foreign powers attempting to do harm to U.S. interests or retaliate for perceived U.S. aggression."

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals nationwide have seen a surge in cyber attacks. In December, it was revealed that Russian hacking groups were behind massive breaches at the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments.

…Immediately after the hacker changed the sodium hydroxide from about 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million on Friday afternoon, the employee reversed the change and notified a supervisor who ensured "steps were taken to prevent further remote access to the system," Gualtieri said.

The FBI is following some leads, but haven't even determined yet whether the hacker(s) is domestic or foreign.