Nuclear and other energy providers have been advised by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI that hackers may be trying to breach their computer systems.
DHS said in a statement yesterday that there is no threat to public safety. The agency said hackers appear to have tried to breach the business and administrative networks of the facilities. DHS did not identify the facilities.
DHS and the FBI routinely advise the private sector of possible cyber threats to help officials protect potentially vulnerable networks. The statement came amid multiple news reports that nuclear and electrical power may have been targeted by hackers.
The Nuclear Energy Institute said last week that no nuclear reactors were affected. Had any facilities been impacted by a cyberattack, a publicly available report would have to be made to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer, said the nuclear safety systems are generally out of the reach of hackers. But, business and administrative systems nonetheless contain valuable information about nuclear facilities.
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