Energy lab restoring website, investigating attack
- By William Jackson
- Jul 07, 2011
The Energy Department’s Jefferson Lab nuclear research facility is back online and in the process of restoring its website as officials investigate the cyberattack that took the site off-line over part of the July 4 holiday weekend.
“We have a partial website up” at www.jlab.org, said public affairs manager Dean Golembeski. “We are still in the process of evaluating what happened.”
The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Va., also known as the Jefferson Lab, came under attack July 1, along with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state. PNNL shut down all network access July 1 but began restoring internal communications over the weekend. External e-mail at PNNL was restored on the afternoon of July 6, but the lab’s website remained off-line as of today.
Cyberattacks take two Energy labs offline
Oak Ridge lab shuts down e-mail, Internet after cyberattack
Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio, which manages PNNL and
several other DOE facilities, also came under attack July 1 and shut
down e-mail and outside access over the weekend. Those services were
restored July 5, a spokesperson said.
Golembeski said the Jefferson Lab did not lose e-mail access and its
website was available sporadically over the weekend. The lab was in the
process of redesigning the site before the interruption, and redesigned
elements are being put online to let teams focus first on the parts used by outside scientists who conduct research at the facility.
The lab does not perform classified work or hold any classified
information, Golembeski said. Its accelerator provides research
facilities for about 1,300 scientists worldwide who are doing basic
research in nuclear physics.
No details about the nature of the attack have been released. Golembeski
said it has been characterized only as a cyberattack by an unidentified
The incident came a little more than two months after a spear-phishing
attack introduced malicious code into the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's network in April, which shut down the lab’s Internet access for more than a
William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.