Kansas Man Faces Federal Charges Over Water Treatment Hack

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DOJ: Wyatt Travnichek Allegedly Accessed Cleaning and Disinfecting System

Kansas Man Faces Federal Charges Over Water Treatment Hack
This is the website of the Ellsworth County Rural Water District in Kansas. The facility was targeted in an attack in 2019, according to the Justice Department.

A Kansas man faces federal charges for allegedly accessing the network of a local water treatment facility and tampering with the systems that control the cleaning and disinfecting procedures for local water sources, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

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Wyatt Travnichek, 22, of Ellsworth County, Kansas, has been charged with one count of tampering with a public water system and one count of reckless damage to a protected computer during unauthorized access, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas, which is overseeing the case. Travnichek is a former employee at the facility.

Travnichek was served with a summons after the indictment was unsealed this week by federal prosecutors and is slated to make his first court appearance on April 22, according to documents from the case.

The most serious of the two charges – tampering with a public water system – carries a possible 20-year federal prison term and a $250,000 fine, the Justice Department notes. The charge of tampering with a protected computer is punishable by up to five years in federal prison.

In March 2019, Travnichek remotely accessed the network of the Ellsworth County Rural Water…