July 7, 2011

Hackers Breach Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory shut down Internet access recently after the facility said it succumbed to a cyber attack.

The government laboratory said in a voice mail message at the lab's office of public affairs, "PNNL is experiencing an Internet outage due to a cyber attack."

Greg Koller, the man behind the voicemail and spokesman for the lab, described it as "a sophisticated" cyber attack.

The laboratory conducts research on behalf of the Department of Energy. 

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, another government lab, felt the force of a cyber attack in April.

Koller told the Associated Press that when officials became aware of the cyberattack on Friday, they shut down most computer services for employees, such as email and access to the Internet.

Employees at the lab worked through the holiday weekend to restore computer services.

The facility said on Twitter that full access will be restored once the Lab can repel further attacks.

According to the Bellingham Herald, no classified information was compromised or was in danger from the attack.

The lab conducts scientific research, including nuclear science related to the Hanford nuclear reservation.


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