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7/13/2017 by mdc
http://www.powermag.com/russian-hackers-targeting-u-s-nuclear-plants-reports/...
Darrell Proctor reports that U.S. officials said Russian government hackers have broken into systems at U.S. nuclear power plants and also have made cyber intrusions into the business systems of other energy companies, according to several reports over the past week. Cybersecurity experts say the threats against U.S. facilities are real and likely to continue, as power plant operators work to make their plants more secure against such attacks.

In the U.S. there are regulations in place say that critical assets have to be protected against cyberattack. Those systems have to be isolated, said Edwin Lyman, senior scientist with the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit nuclear adversary group of scientists and engineers that works against nuclear power. In this case, the hackers were only able to penetrate business and administrative systems, because they have analog control systems and are not digital, purposely so that hacking could not damage system controls.

But these systems are not completely impervious to attack, he said but did not elaborate. There are still ways to cause havoc. It would be shortsighted to think otherwise. He suggested that there is a need to have a broader view of what an attack could be. The Washington Post on July 8 reported that U.S. officials said there is no evidence the hackers were able to control or disrupt power systems, but rather were accessing things such as personnel files and information about business operations.

The New York Times said a joint report recently issued by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security carried an urgent amber warning, the second-highest rating for the severity of the threat.

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