CHICAGO (CBS) — Tonight, CBS 2 is exposing a security breach at Chicago’s water department. A man was able to just walk in to a facility and steal a department vehicle.
But what happened next is even more surprising, 2 Investigator Brad Edwards reports.
Asked “How many red flags in this scenario do you see,” Security Expert Ken Bouche, COO of Hillard Heintze says, “There’s many…The reality is that the entire process failed.”
On Saturday, Sept. 17, an unknown man, posing as a city worker, wearing a florescent vest, penetrated a water department facility on 95th street and came out with a water department truck, then used it to rob a nearby gas station.
“When we think about critical infrastructure across the country, this is really how bad things can happen quickly, when people social engineer their way in,” Bouche said.
This person acted like they belonged, and in this case just sauntered in with a vest.
The person, who was never captured, then returned the water department truck after using it in the commission of the robbery.
The city department of water management declined to share with 2 Investigators any of the surveillance video of the time in question. They also declined to share any of the still images of the suspect in question.
However, the water department later re-iterated it’s policy that security guards must check worker’s IDs, or “… they will not be let into the facility.”
According to the city report, the company that handles security at the 95th Street facility did not do that in this case. 2 investigators learned, for, in part, failing to pay a franchise tax, the state revoked the security company’s business license in July, two months prior to the incident.
“Fortunately no one got hurt, but the exact same situation could have been used to gain access to a vehicle that was used in a larger plot,” Bouche said.
And the question remains: Who was the man who got a hold of the city water truck, robbed a gas station, then returned? Nobody yet knows.
CBS 2 was unable to reach the security company, but it, and the guard, received disciplinary warnings from the city water department, due to the breach.
After the 2 Investigators informed the water department of the license revocation, the company was given 10 days to resolve it, or they could lose their city contract.