World’s Nuclear Facilities At Risk From Cyber Attacks
By Kylie Bull
Managing Editor of HSToday
Special to In Homeland Security
The international community must intensify efforts to protect the world’s nuclear facilities from cyber attacks, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog declared on June 1 as he opened the organization’s first-ever conference on the issue at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna.
Sounding the alarm in front of more than 650 experts from 92 member states, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said the inaugural International Conference on Computer Security in a Nuclear World sent “an important message” that the world is finally “serious about protecting nuclear and other radioactive material.”
“Reports of actual or attempted cyber attacks are now virtually a daily occurrence,” Amano affirmed, warning that the nuclear industry had not been immune from the global threat. “Last year alone, there were cases of random malware-based attacks at nuclear power plants and of such facilities being specifically targeted.”
The threat of cybercrime and cyber attacks has been steadily growing over recent years, particularly in developing countries where criminals can exploit legal loopholes and weak security measures, according to recent findings by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
The Conference – organized in cooperation with INTERPOL, the International Telecommunication Union, the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and International Electrotechnical Commission – which ends today, illustrates ways member states and stakeholders can better anticipate and protect themselves from cyber attacks.
In addition, member states will address a range of issues pertaining to trends in cyber attack and defense, computer security management in nuclear security, computer security threat analysis, computer security for industrial control systems and operator experience in implementing computer security.
“Staff responsible for nuclear security should know how to repel cyber-attacks and to limit the damage if systems are actually penetrated,” Amano continued. “The IAEA is doing what it can to help governments, organizations, and individuals adapt to evolving technology-driven threats from skilled cyber adversaries.”
Read the full article at HSToday.