The United States Department of Justice charged Wyatt A. Travnichek (22), of Ellsworth County, Kansas, for accessing and tampering with the computer system of the Ellsworth County Rural Water District.
Travnichek accessed the computer system of the Public Water System on or about March 27, 2019, without authorization.
“WYATT A. TRAVNICHEK, 22, of Ellsworth County, Kansas is charged with one count of tampering with a public water system and one count of reckless damage to a protected computer during unauthorized access.” reads a press release published DoJ.
“Our office is committed to maintaining and improving its partnership with the state of Kansas in the administration and implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard. “Drinking water that is considered safe is essential to the protection of the public’s health.”
Travnichek worked for the Ellsworth County Rural Water District for roughly one year, he was remote monitoring the plan by accessing the Post Rock computer system.
Once gained access to the public water system, the man allegedly performed malicious actions that halted the processes at the facility that impacted the cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
“During this unauthorized access, it is alleged Travnichek performed activities that shut down the processes at the facility which affect the facilities cleaning and disinfecting procedures with the intention of harming the Ellsworth Rural Water District No. 1, also known as Post Rock Rural Water District.” continues the DoJ.
The attack against the critical infrastructure posed a serious risk to the safety and health of an entire community.
According to the indictment, the man hacked the system with the intent to harm the Ellsworth Rural Water District No. 1, aka Post Rock Rural Water District.
Travnichek faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 for tampering with a public water system, and up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 for reckless damage to a protected computer during unauthorized access.
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(SecurityAffairs – hacking, DoJ)