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U.S. Government Steps in as Cyber Attacks Target Nuclear Plant

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Hackers are no stranger to the energy division. Throughout history, cyber attacks have purposefully targeted the energy sector with intentions of espionage. In the latest incident, Wolf Creek Generating Station, a nuclear power plant located near Burlington, Kansas, was one of more than a dozen U.S. power operators to be penetrated by hackers.

On June 28, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Homeland Security released an alert warning industrial firms of a hacking campaign targeting nuclear and energy sectors. The report stated that hackers have been using phishing emails in order to gain credentials to access target networks since May. The Department of Energy (DOE) stepped in to share technical details on the cyber-attack and mitigation recommendations to help defend their systems.

Power Plant Continues to Operate Safely

Luckily, Wolf Creek Nuclear Generating Station continues to operate safely. Also, the DOE stated that there has been no impact to the U.S. energy grid or power generation. The good news is that even if the administrative and business networks were compromised, the plant still wouldn’t pose a threat to public safety. Nuclear power plants have completely separate systems that operate the nuclear reactor.

While there is no history of hackers ever gaining access to a nuclear plant’s critical systems, it might not be impossible in future. One probable scenario would be hackers getting ahold of plant designs and work schedules in order to lead a physical attack.

Stay a Step Ahead of Cyber Attacks

With all of the new threats on the internet today, the need for cyber security has never been greater. Specialized Security Services, Inc. is a cyber security consulting firm specializing in consulting, auditing and implementing best practices to secure organizations. To find out how we can help your organization stay secure in a world with increasing cyber threats, please contact us today.

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