'Sophisticated cyberattack' hits another Energy Dept. lab

The Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has shut down its public website, Internet access and e-mail service due to what a spokesman called a "sophisticated cyberattack."

PNNL, located in Richland, Wash., is a research and development facility operated by the Battelle Memorial Institute under DOE contract. It does work in the areas of information analysis, cybersecurity and nuclear nonproliferation.


Related story:

Oak Ridge lab shuts down e-mail, Internet after cyberattack


The Seattle Times reported that the attack was detected July 1.

Lab spokesman Greg Koller said July 6 that e-mail service remained down as a result of the attack. The public website at www.pnl.gov also remained unavailable, displaying a message that it was undergoing system maintenance.

Details of the PNNL attack were not immediately available. The incident appears to be the latest in a series of attacks targeting government and contractor systems. In April, Internet access to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory was shut down for more than a week in the wake of a breach in which malicious code was introduced through a successful spear phishing attack. At the time the code was described as “very sophisticated” and apparently designed to steal information from the lab’s network.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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