Criminal hackers targeting U.S. nuclear power plants and other energy providers present a substantial and “real” threat to the U.S. electric grid Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Tuesday. However, “the good news” is that the Energy Department has substantial resources to counter the threat and has been “working on this for a long time,” Perry told Fox Business Network.
Describing the threat of cyber-attacks on the electric grid, Perry said it “is real; it’s ongoing and we shouldn’t be surprised when you think of the world we live in today,” the AP reported.
Last week, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned energy providers that hackers may attempt to breach their computer systems, and appear to have attempted to breach other business and administrative networks. One attack with no operational impact occurred at Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corp., which runs the Wolf Creek nuclear power facility in Kansas, AP reports.
Safety and control systems for the nuclear reactor and other plant components are not connected to business networks or the internet, a spokesperson for the plant said, according to AP. In a report on the topic, the Department of Homeland Security said that there was no threat to public safety.
According to Perry, the hackers may be “criminal elements” acting alone or could be “state-sponsored.”