Vitek Boden, a 49-year-old man, worked for Hunter Watertech, an Australian company installing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) radio-controlled sewage system for Maroochy Shire Council in Queensland, Australia. Vitek Boden used the company’s SCADA controller system in which he released more than one million liters of sewage into the rivers and coastal waters of Maroochydore. Boden attacked the company, rivers, and coastal waters in 2000 after the company refused to hire him full-time. The outcome of the attack by Boden was the death of marine life, the creek water turning black and unbearable stench for the residents of the area around the place of incident. Boden was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison and became the first person to maliciously break into an SCADA control system (Riptech, 2001). The cause of the incident was documented as unauthorized access to the company’s SCADA control system through an insecure wireless network.
The cost of the attack was estimated to be around $1 million. It would have been easier lay blame on the installation errors for the attack. However, all software was reinstalled, and the system checked. Even after doing that, the pump station kept on changing it settings beyond the system’s ability to automatically do this (Fernandez & Fernandez, 2005). Therefore, it was concluded that a malicious external entity was maliciously using the wireless system and the wireless equipment to access the company’s SCADA control system. An engineer discovered that someone was hacking into the company’s system and maliciously causing the problem. The company acted quickly, and in time they contacted the police who arrested Boden and eventually jailed. The company was helped by the faster reaction to the problem immediately they realized there was a problem. The problem was handled correctly and did not escalate (Slay & Miller, 2006).
Fernandez, J., & Fernandez, A. (2005). SCADA systems: Vulnerabilities and remediation. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 20 (4), 160-168.
Riptech, R. (2001). Understanding SCADA system security vulnerabilities.
Slay, J., & Miller, M. (2006). A security architecture for SCADA networks. Proceedings of the Seventeenth Australasian Conference on Information Systems.