Nuclear Weapons Plant Hacked

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 11:06 PM gHale


The Y-12 nuclear weapons plant is now a victim of a cyber attack. The Oak Ridge, TN, plant’s external website shut down after an attack on a database associated with the site. The attack was “by an outside source,” a Y-12 spokesman said.

“The database did not contain any sensitive information and no Y-12-related activities were compromised,” said Steven Wyatt, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration. “The database was immediately taken out of service and is being analyzed by Y-12 cyber security staff. For this reason, Y-12’s external website has been replaced with a temporary information page. At this point, there is no evidence that any plant-wide email or internal computing services have been affected, nor has any classified or sensitive information been accessed or affected by this incident.”

The plant is part of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, producing refurbished parts for aging nuclear warheads, recycling old weapons components, and storing most of the nation’s inventory of bomb-grade uranium.

Y-12’s classified information is not on computer systems tied to the Internet, Wyatt said. He did say the hacker did not obtain personal information of people who had pre-registered for visits to Y-12 this coming weekend as part of Oak Ridge’s Secret City Festival.

“No personal information was impacted by this cyber attack,” Wyatt said.

The federal spokesman also said the attack at Y-12 was different than an “advanced persistent threat” – the aggressive, sophisticated type of attack that hit Oak Ridge National Laboratory in April and has targeted other government institutions and agencies in recent months.



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