Cyberattack hits Energy lab

A cyberattack against an Energy Department lab has led officials to shut down the lab's public website, Internet access and e-mail service.

The Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was the victim. Located in Richland, Wash., the lab is a research and development facility operated by the Battelle Memorial Institute under DOE contract. It does work in the areas of information analysis, cybersecurity and nuclear nonproliferation.


Related story:

Oak Ridge lab shuts down e-mail, Internet after cyberattack


The Seattle Times reported that the attack was detected July 1.

Lab spokesman Greg Koller said July 6 that e-mail service remained down as a result of the attack. The public website at www.pnl.gov also remained unavailable, displaying a message that it was undergoing system maintenance.

Details of the PNNL attack were not immediately available. The incident appears to be the latest in a series of attacks targeting government and contractor systems. In April, Internet access to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory was shut down for more than a week in the wake of a breach in which malicious code was introduced through a successful spear phishing attack. At the time the code was described as “very sophisticated” and apparently designed to steal information from the lab’s network.

About the Author

William Jackson is freelance writer and the author of the CyberEye blog.

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