A “hacktivist group with ties to Syria” has hacked into the control system of a water treatment facility and altered the ratio of the chemicals in the water, according to technology news site The Register.
The hackers “managed to manipulate the system to alter the amount of chemicals that went into the water supply and thus handicap water treatment and production capabilities so that the recovery time to replenish water supplies increased” according to an investigation conducted by forensic experts working for Verizon Security Solutions.
Staff was able to quickly identify and reverse the changes and at no point did the water become poisonous.
No motive for the attack has been confirmed and the location of the plant, owned by Kemuri Water Systems, has not been revealed.
Jihadists have attempted to hack water plants before. In 2002 federal officials arrested two Al-Qaeda suspects who planned to poison water supplies in the US. In 2003 an Al-Qaeda spokesman threatened to poison water supplies in Western cities.
An accomplice of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, admitted to plotting with him to poison water reservoirs in America. More recently in 2015 the Islamic State are believed to have plotted to poison water supplies in Kosovo, leading to security services cutting off the water supply of the capital city Pristina.