Cybersecurity Threat Strikes Pensacola, Florida

Still reeling from the wake of last week’s shooting incident at a nearby naval base, the city of Pensacola, Florida now appears to be the victim of a coordinated cybersecurity attack. Speaking for the first time since the attack began over the weekend, Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said Monday that hackers successfully breached city hall’s defenses, thus allowing them to cripple the city’s communication systems, phone lines, and email.

“The city of Pensacola is experiencing a cyberattack that began this weekend that is impacting our city network, including phones and email at City Hall and some of our other buildings,” Robinson said during a televised press conference Monday afternoon. Robinson went on to say that the attack began around 1:45 am Saturday and has continued in the days since. The FBI’s Jacksonville office has opened an investigation—part of which is seeking to determine whether or not the cyberattack is in any way connected to the shooting at the airbase Friday Morning.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the perpetrators have shutdown Pensacola’s online payment systems and city sanitation services in addition to nearly all official communication channels.

This is not the first time an American city has been the target of a cybersecurity attack. Earlier this year, Baltimore and Atlanta were also attacked—and Albany, New York lost power for several days after being held for ransom. With the prevalence of such attacks obviously tied to global technological progression, it has become increasingly obvious that we need to be mindful of the digital technology we use every day.

That’s exactly why OTEK invested nearly three years in designing and developing our Solid State Analog Meter (SSAM). An industry first, the SSAM operates without the use of any critical digital assets (components hackable by outside parties), by way of being built without a microprocessor. The ingenuity of the SSAM lies in the marrying of old analog hardware (CMOS Logic) with our award-winning and patented technology. The same intelligent instrumentation/programming that powers our highly-successful New Technology Meters (NTM) and our Universal Panel Meter Series (UPM), also inhabits the SSAM—providing users with an ultra-bright pure white LED display that can be easily customized to virtually any color using our One Size Fits All scale plate design. No need to remove the existing panel cut-out, wiring, etc.

Additional highlight features of the SSAM include 4-20mA and 10-50mA current loops, V/A AC/DC, Watts, and Hertz or external power options, OTEK’s patented signal failure alarm that warns the operator of a signal or power loss for 1 minute after failure, 4 ½ digit display with 0.1% accuracy, dual alarms for enunciator panel lamps, and of course, our lifetime warranty.

With the digital age showing no signs of slowing down, we would all be wise to invest in secure, innovative, and safe cybersecurity compliant or exempt instrumentation.