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Hackers target nuclear plant in Kansas
October 21 2017, 07:19 | Rex Rios
The recent attack does not appear to have put American's at personal risk
Firms operating nuclear power plants and other energy facilities in the U.S. have been hacked in recent months, the New York Times (NYT) reported on Thursday (Jul 6).
The hacks targeted corporate computers for a number of companies that run nuclear plants, including Wolf Creek at Burlington, Kansas.
The DHS and Federal Bureau of Investigation acknowledged the incidents in a statement Thursday but said "any potential impact appears to be limited to administrative and business networks". The hackers behind the effort are believed to be working for a foreign government, the chief suspect being Russian Federation, sources told Bloomberg.
But Marty Rosenberg, editor of Energy Times, a digital publication that reports on the energy sector, says the public should be concerned about the attacks.
One expert told Bloomberg: "Even if there is no indication that the hackers gained access to those control systems, the design of the malware suggests they may have at least been looking for ways to do so".
Wolf Creek nuclear power operator in Kansas is one of at least a dozen USA power firms breached in a cyber-attack, Reuters reported.
Since May, hackers have been penetrating the computer networks of companies that operate nuclear power stations and other energy facilities, as well as manufacturing plants in the United States and other countries. The New York Times report says targets were both in the USA and in other countries.
Officials at Wolf Creek have said no "operations systems" have been affected.
The hackers had also recently infiltrated an unidentified company that made control systems for equipment used in the power industry.
Authorities said in the report that they are not sure how many plants were breached. This would include email messages from the hackers to individuals with access to critical facility systems, and the messages would contain fake resumes or other documents that contained malicious code to retrieve user login credentials and spread throughout the network.