Dozen US nuclear plants breached by Hackers
According to US media reports which cited intelligence officials, hackers had breached at least a dozen US power plants in attacks in May and June.
Several reports have suggested that the targets included the Wolf Creek nuclear facility in Kansas.
In an urgent report furnished by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) it was indicated that a foreign power, possibly Russia, had been responsible.
According to reports the DHS document carried the second highest threat rating.
The Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corp had declined to say that if the plant had been hacked however it said that there had been “no operational impact” at the plant.
Spokeswoman Jenny Hageman said “The reason that is true is because the operational computer systems are completely separate from the corporate network.”
Through a joint statement with the FBI, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said there was “no indication of a threat to public safety.”
According to the DHS report it appeared that the hackers had appeared to be attempting to map out computer networks for future attacks.
According to media reports highly targeted emails were sent to the senior engineers at operating firms behind the nuclear plants, which mimicked job application however were laced with malicious code.
According to the officials which told a newspaper that the technique had resembled those which had been used by Russian specialists linked to previous attacks on energy facilities.
Russia based hackers had been accused by US investigators of being behind a 2015 attack that caused blackouts across Ukraine.
In order to infiltrate foreign industrial networks hacking is a tool which is increasingly deployed by nation states. In an attempt to damage an Iranian nuclear facility, Israel and the US had reportedly used the now infamous Stuxnet worm. The worm had attacked the facility’s nuclear centrifuges by overriding the system and instructing them to spin much faster than intended, reportedly causing severe physical damage.
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