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Hackers have succeeded in breaking into the computer systems of two of the U.S.’ most important science labs, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
In what a spokesperson for the Oak Ridge facility described as a "sophisticated cyber attack," it appears that intruders accessed a database of visitors to the Tennessee lab between 1990 and 2004, which included their social security numbers and dates of birth. Three thousand researchers reportedly visit the lab each year, a who's who of the science establishment in the U.S.
The possibility that the latest attacks were the work of fraudsters will be seen by some as optimistic - less positive would be the possibility of a rival government having been involved.
But could it be a single or small group of youngsters?
Originally posted by sean
A database of SS numbers and names on a computer connected to the outside world? One word for that... DUMB.
"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.
a drug dealer was allegedly found with a USB stick containing data on nuclear weapons tests.
Report of 18.07.2007 20:06
Million-dollar fine for IT security vulnerabilities in nuclear weapons research centre
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has ordered the University of California Berkeley to pay a fine of three million dollars due to inadequate security precautions in Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). In October of last year, a contract worker succeeded in taking confidential material from the intranet of the research institution and saving it on a USB stick. After this fact leaked to the public, the DOE ordered an in-depth investigation of the IT and other security precautions of the research centre located in a military no-go area in New Mexico.
The LANL is, among other things, active in the field of nuclear weapons development and manages the "Stockpile Stewardship and Management" program which is responsible for managing the infrastructure of the USA's existing arsenal of atomic weapons. For a long time, the LANL was solely run by the University of California. In June 2006, the management of the research institution, with its 6,000 or so employees, changed hands. Management was transferred to the Los Alamos National Security (LANS), a limited liability company, in which the University of California, the construction company Bechtel and two other companies hold shares.