Small Kansas water utility system hacking highlights risks

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LLSWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas utility worker has been charged with remotely tampering with a public water system’s cleaning procedures, highlighting the difficulty smaller utilities face in protecting against hackers.

The Kansas City Star reports that 22-year-old Wyatt Travnichek was charged last month with accessing the Post Rock Rural Water District’s systems in March 2019, about two months after he quit his job with the utility.

A federal indictment says Travnichek used a Samsung phone to remotely access the system and shut down its cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

Post Rock utility officials declined to provide further details. Travnichek’s attorney didn’t respond to the Star’s request for comment.

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