While you were worried about the cyber-trivialities of life, like whether your email or democracy is susceptible to hacking, hackers have moved on to successfully penetrating the computer networks of the companies that operate nuclear power plants in the U.S. That little tidbit from your not far off dystopian daydreams comes via the New York Times Thursday, which reported the vulnerability concerns outlined in report last week by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
From the Times:
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 had been able to jump from their victims’ computers into the control systems of the facilities, nor is it clear how many facilities had been successfully targeted… The hackers appeared determined to map out computers networks for future attacks, the report concluded. But investigators have not been able to analyze the malicious “payload” of the hackers’ code, which would offer more detail into what they were after.
The report, which was assigned the second highest threat severity rating, found that the hacking of vital infrastructure, which reportedly began in May, extends beyond nuclear facilities and includes other energy and manufacturing facilities.