Man sentenced for deliberately disabling East Bay water treatment plant computer system

This photograph shows water being treated for cleaning and watering use at the water treatment plant of Lloret de Mar, on June 29, 2023. With Spain at the forefront of the climate crisis in Europe, its key tourism sector is facing growing pressure to

A Tracy man has been federally sentenced for accessing the computer network of the Discovery Bay Water Treatment Facility and shutting it down in 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday.     

Rambler Gallo, 53, will spend six months in home confinement followed by 36 months of probation for intentionally causing damage to the computer network at the water treatment facility. Gallo intentionally uninstalled the main operational system that operates the automated monitoring that protects the entire water treatment system, prosecutors said.   

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.     

In his plea agreement, Gallo admitted to installing 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 accessed the computer system remotely and transmitted a command to uninstall software that was the main hub of the facilities' computer network.     

Prosecutors said his actions were well thought out "to be as disruptive as possible" and "caused a potential threat to the health and safety of the community's water supply."   

In addition to his sentence, Gallo had to forfeit his computer and must pay restitution of $44,250.