Cyberattack on Nuclear Power Plants

3 April 2018
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Last month, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration accused Russia of orchestrating a series of cyberattacks on U.S. and European nuclear power plants, water and electric systems from 2015 to 2017.

United States officials believe the attack is an indication by Moscow that the Russians could obstruct the West’s essential facilities in the event of a dispute.

It was suggested that Russian hackers infiltrated the Burlington, Kan., Wolf Creek nuclear plant but not the plant’s control systems.

In the United States, cyber security at nuclear facilities receives attention from regulators, plant operators, and technical experts. Many of the nuclear plants have aging nuclear infrastructure, which means the facilities operate with analog controls and are less vulnerable to cyberattacks. The safety systems for U.S. nuclear reactors and other vital plant components are not connected to the Internet.

However, any type of attack on a nuclear power plant is alarming. If a hacker can manipulate the control systems of a nuclear power plant, the events could be catastrophic, including possible nuclear reactor core damage and the release of radiation.

For more information, visit  http://www.nti.org/analysis/atomic-pulse/cyberattacks-nuclear-power-plants-how-worried-should-we-be/

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