This is pretty scary: Two major military and nuclear weapons labs have been breached by hackers: the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Lab, PCWorld says.
Oak Ridge suffered a "sophisticated cyber attack," a spokesperson said, in which hackers accessed the SSNs and DOBs of visitors to the lab betwen 1990 and 2004? Who drops into Oak Ridge for a friendly visit? 3,000 scientists a year -- " a who's who of the science establishment in the U.S.," says PCW.
ORNL director, Thom Mason, described the attacks in an email to staff earlier this week as being a "coordinated attempt to gain access to computer networks at numerous laboratories and other institutions across the country."
"Because of the sensitive nature of this event, the laboratory will be unable for some period to discuss further details until we better understand the full nature of this attack," he added.
The attack on Los Alamos seems to be linked to the one on Oak Ridge. Not much is being said about that attack, although "given that a Los Alamos spokesman said that staff had been notified of an attack on Nov. 9 - days after the earliest attack wave on the ORNL - the assumption has to be that something untoward happened there as well, and probably at other science labs across the U.S."
So who's behind the attacks? Maybe just the usual phishing fraudsters, but there's also a possibility it was conducted by a rival government. Fingers have been pointed at China before and they are again. ABC News reported:
Authorities told ABC News that the attackers may be located in China. Security experts of late have been pointing the finger at China as the main source of many cyberattacks and cyber-espionage, but Chinese officials deny it.