Breach, Critical Infrastructure Security, Data Security, Threat Management

Feds say man remotely accessed public water system and shut down safety processes

Wyatt Travnichek, a resident of Ellsworth County, Kansas, and former employee at the Ellsworth County Rural Water District No. 1, was indicted March 31 after allegedly causing the shutdown of the facility's cleaning and disinfection processes for drinking water, according to Ars Technica. "On or about March 27, 2019, in the District of Kansas, the defendant, Wyatt Travnichek, knowingly tampered with a public drinking water system, namely the Ellsworth County Rural Water District No. 1," the indictment read. "To wit: he logged in remotely to Post Rock Rural Water District's computer system and performed activities that shut down processes at the facility which affect the facility's cleaning and disinfecting procedures with the intention of harming the Ellsworth County Rural Water District No. 1." Travnichek will be charged with one count each of reckless damage to a protected computer during unauthorized access and tampering with a public water system, and may face a 25-year prison sentence and pay a fine of $500,000.
Jill Aitoro

Jill Aitoro leads editorial for SC Media, and content strategy for parent company CyberRisk Alliance. She 20 years of experience editing and reporting on technology, business and policy.

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