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USA Today: Energy Department Faced 159 Successful Cyber Attacks Over 4 Years

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power gridUSA Today obtained federal records that show the Energy Department‘s computer systems faced 159 successful intrusions and a total of 1,131 cyber attacks from 2010 to 2014, the publication reported Friday.

Steve Reilly writes that the documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act indicate the barrage of intrusion attempts on a U.S. critical infrastructure system that includes the power grid and nuclear weapons stockpile.

DOE spokesperson Andrew Gumbiner would not confirm whether the attacks compromised any sensitive data relevant to the power grid or nuclear stockpile’s security and operations, the report said.

According to the records, 19 of the successful attacks targeted the National Nuclear Security Administration, 90 targeted the Office of Science and 53 overall were root compromises in which the hackers gained administrative system privileges.

Reilly adds that previous audit reports from Energy’s Office of Inspector General pointed to the department’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities, including the use of weak passwords, unclear lines of responsibility and a lack of awareness among leadership.

A USA Today Media Network report earlier this year also pointed to Energy documents that indicate a physical or cyber attack on the U.S. power infrastructure approximately once every four days, the report said.

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