How to keep your company from getting shut down by hackers
Posted On June 29, 2021
The company that owns the majority of Entergy, one of the nation’s largest nuclear power plants, said Wednesday that its network of nuclear facilities is vulnerable to hackers who could compromise sensitive information.
In a report that was leaked to news outlets, Entergy reported that hackers gained access to its network last week, but the company did not provide details on how the hackers gained entry.
In an email to reporters, the company said that it had been “actively engaged” in addressing the breach and that its researchers had uncovered malware that could compromise users’ passwords, credentials and other data stored on the network.
The company’s announcement comes after Entergy CEO Bruce J. Sutter publicly blamed a security breach at the company’s nuclear facility last month on hackers who stole the credentials of thousands of its employees.
Entergy was the second-largest utility in the United States with more than 7.2 million customers in 2016.
The utility said in a statement that hackers breached its systems at a substation in North Carolina and the New York City subway system.
In February, Entergys CEO Bruce E. J. Sampson wrote that the company has a “vast” network of servers at the sites of the three nuclear facilities where the intruders gained access.
“Entergy is actively engaging with cybersecurity firms to develop solutions that address the potential for additional data loss, compromise and/or theft,” the company wrote.
The latest breach comes as Entergy is under intense scrutiny over the impact of its 2016 shutdown and the company is under increasing scrutiny for how the incident was handled.
In April, the utility said it would suspend operations at the two reactors it operates in North and South Carolina and suspend work on its three nuclear power plant projects in New York.
Entergies shutdown at the three plants in late April resulted in widespread outages at the plants, which are both more than 1,200 miles (2,500 kilometers) apart.
Entergers two reactors at the plant in Charlotte, North Carolina, shut down at about 2:30 a.m. local time.
In August, Enterges Columbia River Dam power plant shut down for the first time since June of this year, affecting thousands of residents in South Carolina.
At least 18 of the plant’s reactors have been shut down since mid-February.
Enteragys is the fourth U.S. utility to experience an incident related to cyberattacks this year.
In October, Entergas-Coral Energy, the nation, largest natural gas producer, was shut down because of the cyberattack, and in November, Entergs nuclear plant in Louisiana was shuttered by hackers because of an unauthorized intrusion.
The Associated Press reported last week that Entergys power plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, suffered a hack that compromised data on more than 500,000 employees and was connected to a computer network.