hackers

U.S. Nuclear Facilities Targeted by Malicious Hackers, Says DHS and FBI

Warfare has entered a new era in the age of Trump, with cyberattacks and horrific hack attacks dominating the international landscape.

Many of these abhorrent assaults on our privacy are simply aimed at gathering information that can then be passed on to anonymous whistleblowers.  This information can be used in a variety of ways, often finding their way to websites such as Wikileaks where world citizens can take a good, hard look behind the curtain of the planet’s political elite.  Other cyber security breaches, however, are not nearly as mundane.

Recent attacks on a number of businesses and essential institutions have come in the form of so-called “ransomware” attacks, possibly created with help from leakers who made CIA spyware programs public just months ago.  In these attacks, hackers will focus on targets such as hospitals, disabling their computer systems until their monetary demands are met.  Given the delicate nature of those dependent upon those systems, the money is often forked over immediately in order to render patients safe.

Now, as these attacks continue to invade our everyday lives, a terrifying instance of industry-targeting is occurring, and one wrong move could have dire consequences for miles surrounding the attack’s location.

“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.

“Among the companies targeted was the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation, which runs a nuclear power plant near Burlington, Kan., according to security consultants and an urgent joint report issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week.

“The joint report was obtained by The New York Times and confirmed by security specialists who have been responding to the attacks. It carried an urgent amber warning, the second-highest rating for the sensitivity of the threat.

“The report did not indicate whether the cyberattacks were an attempt at espionage — such as stealing industrial secrets — or part of a plan to cause destruction. There is no indication that hackers were able to jump from their victims’ computers into the control systems of the facilities, nor is it clear how many facilities were breached.”

Nuclear power plants are some of our nation’s most delicate sites, and the incapacitating of their high-tech monitoring systems could easily spell disaster for the U.S.

Earlier this year, cyber criminals attacked the station in charge of monitoring the radiation levels at the Chernobyl nuclear site in Pripyat, Ukraine.  This attack was linked backed to CIA software that was re-appropriated into ransomware, illustrating the vast power of this presumably international consortium of hackers hellbent on creating chaos.

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