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The Administration Wants to Prevent an Attack on Water Supplies

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The Blue Plains water treatment plant, which serves Washington, D.C.

There are about 150,000 U.S. water utilities serving roughly 300 million Americans that are increasingly reliant on connected technology. They vary in size from serving a few hundred people to millions.

Credit: Reis Thebault/The Washington Post

Water systems are highly vulnerable to hacks that could contaminate drinking water for thousands of people.

With that in mind, the Biden administration is launching a voluntary new cybersecurity initiative aimed at preventing hackers from contaminating or blocking access to drinking water and wastewater systems.

A warning shot came last year when a hacker briefly raised the amount of lye in the water system in Oldsmar, FL, by a factor of more than 100. That could have caused widespread illness if plant operators hadn't quickly caught and reversed it. Similar hacks could be conducted far too easily against water utilities across the nation, officials say.

From The Washington Post
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