of nuclear lab cyber attack
A national nuclear laboratory remains under cyber lockdown following a sophisticated cyber attack detected April 15.
The potential threat of the attack was underscored by the fact that a task force of information technologists flocked to the lab from government units -- including Los Alamos National Laboratory -- and private computer firms to assess and counter the threat, working through the Easter weekend. The attack, using "elusive" code, was mounted by "serious people who want information,"
a spokeswoman said.
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory spokeswoman, Barbara Penland, said yesterday that Thursday morning is the latest target for resuming internet access for laboratory employees, according to Frank Munger of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Target dates for full restoration of computer services has been delayed several times.
Internet connectivity has been shut off since April 15.
"Asked if issues have proved more difficult to deal with than expected, Penland said, 'I think we were prepared for it to be difficult, simply because this particular version of APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) has hit other companies lately and so we were prepared for it to be difficult.'
"'She added: 'These are not your teen-age hackers. These are serious people who want information . . . I think the coding has been elusive, and so the process of identifying it and seeking it out -- it just has to be very deliberate and complete.'
"'This is industry's version of purgatory or hell,' she said."
A task force of information technologists flocked to the lab from government units, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, and private computer firms to assess and counter the threat, working through the Easter weekend, Munger reports.
The phishing attack, which installed malware via bogus emails concerning government benefits, deals another setback to the nuclear industry in the aftermath of the Japanese nuclear crisis, though supercomputers and classified matter were said to have been safe, not being directly connected to the internet.