Recently, the US Department of Justice has announced an indictment for a Kansas man who is charged with hacking into the computer system of a local water utility and attempting to sabotage the water processing operations, as originally reported by TheRecord. Based on court documents, Wyatt Travnichek of Ellsworth County, Kansas previously worked at the Post Rock Rural Water District between January 2018 and January 2019. On March 27, 2019, Travnichek illegally accessed the computer network of the water treatment plant and performed activities that shut down the processes at the facility (affecting the facility’s cleaning and disinfecting procedures). If found guilty, Travnichek faces up to 25 years in prison.
As this case involves a disgruntled former employee accessing organization infrastructure, Binary Defense recommends ensuring that former employees cannot access accounts that they previously had access to. Additionally, Binary Defense recommends employing a 24/7 SOC monitoring solution, such as Binary Defense’s own Security Operations Task Force to better detect any unexpected remote access and unusual behavior from user accounts.