Global nuclear facilities ‘at risk’ of cyber attack
6 October 2015, Nirapad News: The risk of a ‘serious cyber attack’ on nuclear power plants around the world is growing.
Warns a report, says the BBC.
The civil nuclear infrastructure in most nations is not well prepared to defend against such attacks, it added.
Many of the control systems for the infrastructure were ‘insecure by design’ because of their age, it said.
Published by the influential Chatham House think tank, the report studied cyber defenses in power plants around the world over an 18-month period.
Cyber criminals, state-sponsored hackers and terrorists were all increasing their online activity, it said, meaning that the risk of a significant net-based attack was ‘ever present’.
Such an attack on a nuclear plant, even if small-scale or unlikely, needed to be taken seriously because of the harm that would follow if radiation were released.
In addition, it said, ‘even a small-scale cyber security incident at a nuclear facility would be likely to have a disproportionate effect on public opinion and the future of the civil nuclear industry’.
Unfortunately, research carried out for the study showed that the UK’s nuclear plants and associated infrastructure were not well protected or prepared because the industry had converted to digital systems relatively recently.
This increasing digitization and growing reliance on commercial software is only increasing the risks the nuclear industry faces.