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Tracy man indicted for illegally accessing water treatment network

PIX Now Morning 7/8/2023
PIX Now Morning 7/8/2023 10:13

TRACY -  A Tracy man has been indicted for allegedly accessing the computer network of the Discovery Bay Water Treatment Facility and shutting it down, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday. 

Rambler Gallo, 53, is accused of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer at the facility located in the town of Discovery Bay and intentionally uninstalling the main operational and monitoring system for the water treatment plant. He then allegedly turned off the servers running those systems, prosecutors said. 

The indictment was filed on June 27 and was unsealed Thursday.

Gallo was a full-time employee of a private Massachusetts company listed in the indictment as "Company A," which contracted with Discovery Bay to operate the wastewater treatment facility.

From July 2016 until December 2020, Gallo was the company's instrumentation and control tech, responsible for maintaining the instrumentation and the computer systems used to control the electromechanical processes of the facility.

Prosecutors allege that Gallo installed software on his own personal computer and on Company A's private internal network that allowed him to gain remote access to the Discovery Bay facility's computer network.

In January 2021, after resigning from Company A, Gallo allegedly accessed the computer system remotely and transmitted a command to uninstall software that was the main hub of the facilities computer network and that protected the entire water treatment system, including water pressure, filtration, and chemical levels.

He has been charged with one count of transmitting a program, information, code and command to cause damage to a protected computer. If convicted, Gallo faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000.   

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