Usa state Florida city Saint Petersburg, state Florida reports experts consequences Usa state Florida city Saint Petersburg, state Florida

Hack exposes vulnerability of cash-strapped US water plants

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A hacker’s botched attempt to poison the water supply of a small Florida city is raising alarms about just how vulnerable the nation's water systems may be to attacks by more sophisticated intruders.

Treatment plants are typically cash-strapped, and lack the cybersecurity depth of the power grid and nuclear plants. A local sheriff's startling announcement Monday that the water supply of Oldsmar, population 15,000, was briefly in jeopardy last week exhibited uncharacteristic transparency.

Suspicious incidents are rarely reported, and usually chalked up to mechanical or procedural errors, experts say. No federal reporting requirement exists, and state and local rules vary widely. "In the industry, we were all expecting

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