ABC Action News Feature: Hacker Attempted to Change Chemical Levels at Oldsmar Water Treatment Plant

March 9, 2021

NEWS 9 FEBRUARY 2021

HACKER ATTEMPTED TO CHANGE CHEMICAL LEVELS AT OLDSMAR WATER TREATMENT PLANT

Detectives are tracking several leads but say it’s unclear if the hacker is from here in the US or from another country. Oldsmar leaders tell ABC Action News they’ve disabled the remote program that the hacker was able to access and they’re making upgrades now to any prevent future attacks. The investigation is ongoing.

“It’s incredibly significant it’s the first time that there’s been a successful hack that we documented in the United States that specifically targets a water company — it’s likely a crime of opportunity, but it highlights vulnerabilities potentially putting us in danger”
— Jonathon Monken, Principal, Converge Strategies

“It may be less about targeting this particular system and this particular town or this particular state, and more about just the process of a burglar driving past houses and waiting to see one that doesn’t have a security system sign in the front yard”
— Jonathon Monken, Principal, Converge Strategies

About Jonathon Monken

Jonathon has deep public and private sector experience in the areas of national security, emergency preparedness, risk management, and energy resilience planning.

During the past several years he pioneered programs to build enterprise-level resilience for the utility sector through information sharing, public and private sector integration, and large-scale exercise development and execution. Previously, he served as VP for the U.S. Operations for the Electric Infrastructure Security (EIS) Council where he worked with government and industry to develop best practices and capabilities to improve the resilience of life support infrastructure systems to widespread, long-duration power outages, known as “Black Sky” events.

Jonathon earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Jonathon serves in the Army Reserves supporting the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He is a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project.

Media Contact

Adair Douglas

adouglas@convergestrategies.com

315.263.2382