Here we go.. it has started. Attacks on Nukes around the world – and it appears to be aimed at the LARGEST PLANTS. After all – if you want to bury some ‘malware’ on a computer IN PLAIN SITE – best place is the largest facility with the most computers!
NEW DELHI—India’s state-run nuclear power producer said malware was discovered on a computer at its largest facility earlier this year but the computer wasn’t connected to the plant’s operations, which it said were unaffected.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd., or NPCIL, said it was first alerted of the malicious software in its system by the government’s cybersecurity agency Sept. 4. The Department of Atomic Energy, which works directly under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office, then carried out a detailed investigation by specialists, a statement Wednesday from the power producer said.
The investigation revealed that the infected personal computer was part of the company’s network for administrative purposes, said the statement, which was signed by an associate director at NPCIL.
“This is isolated from the critical internal network,” the statement said.
The NPCIL’s statement came less than a day after an earlier release denied there was a cyberattack on the control system of the Kudankulam power project in Tamil Nadu state. That statement said it was refuting social media posts and some media reports of a cyberattack on the plant.
An attack on the facility’s control systems would be far more worrying. Those operate the reactor, control rods and cooling systems in the plant.
Cyber experts have become increasingly worried malicious actors may try to carry out such a destructive cyberattack. Those fears have been heightened since a Saudi Arabian petrochemical plant was knocked offline in 2017. That attack, later linked to Russian attackers, targeted the plant’s emergency shut-off systems.
Russian attackers have also been linked to a long-running campaign targeting electrical utilities in the U.S.
Russia has denied that it is hacking such infrastructure.
It wasn’t immediately clear who was behind the attack on the Indian nuclear plant. Cybersecurity experts said it appeared to be a targeted attack rather than an accidental virus infection. The malicious software has been used by an adversary involved in targeted attacks in the past. It also appeared to be designed specifically to penetrate the Kudankulam plant, said Sergio Caltagirone, director of threat intelligence at Dragos. It could have been targeted for purposes of reconnaissance or espionage, Mr. Caltagirone said.