Tags: Cyber Security | Homeland Security | NSA/Surveillance | Russia | Trump Administration | hackers | nuclear

NYT: Hackers Targeting US, Global Energy Plants

Image: NYT: Hackers Targeting US, Global Energy Plants
(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

By    |   Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 10:40 PM

Hackers have been penetrating the computer networks of companies that manage energy plants and nuclear power stations and manufacturing operations in the United States and around the world, according to a report disclosed Thursday.

The attacks have been occurring since May, The New York Times reported, and one company targeted was the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corp., which manages a nuclear power plant near Burlington, Kan.

Wolf Creek officials told the Times they could not comment on cyberattacks or security issues, but no "operations systems" had been compromised.

The disclosure was included in a report issued June 28 by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

The Times said security specialists responding to the attacks confirmed the report, which carried an urgent amber warning, "the second-highest rating for the severity of the threat."

Overall, the document did not indicate whether the cyberattacks sought to steal industrial secrets or other espionage, nor was it clear how many plants were breached.

The origins of the hackers are not known, though the report noted an "advanced persistent threat" actor was responsible.

Security specialists often use such language to describe hackers backed by governments, according to the Times.

In addition, two people familiar with the probe told the Times "the hackers' techniques mimicked those of the organization known to cybersecurity specialists as 'Energetic Bear,' the Russian hacking group that researchers have tied to attacks on the energy sector since at least 2012."

The hackers also appeared to map out computer networks for future attacks, the report noted.

On May 11, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to strengthen the cybersecurity defenses of federal networks and critical infrastructure, the Times reported.

The directive required federal agencies and public companies to work together to reduce risks and help defend critical infrastructure operations "at greatest risk of attacks that could reasonably result in catastrophic regional or national effects on public health or safety, economic security, or national security," according to the report.

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Hackers have been penetrating the computer networks of companies that manage energy plants and nuclear power stations and manufacturing operations in the United States and around the world, according to a report disclosed Thursday.
hackers, nuclear, power, plants
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2017-40-06
Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 10:40 PM
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