A cyber attack that some are attributing to the hacking group, Lulz Security, has breached the database behind the website of the Department of Energy’s Y12 National Security Complex, which is located several miles from DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
For most of the day today, the Y12 website has been offline, giving an error message instead of displaying the site. By 1:00PM EST this afternoon, the website was back up but displayed a message that read, “The Y-12 National Security Complex website is temporarily unavailable while we conduct maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
In addition to taking down the website for a period of time, the hacker(s) behind the attack also posted user credentials for five individuals who work at Y12.
The primary danger in an attack like this is that attackers might attempt to use the credentials that they obtain to access more sensitive systems. This would particularly be the case if the individuals whose credentials were stolen were using the same credentials for multiple systems. Of course, at this point, those individuals have likely changed their login and password information. But it is not clear from the information that the hacker(s) posted online for how long they had access to the website and the stolen user credentials, nor what else they may have attempted with the use of that information. The theft and release of user credentials could also increase those individuals’ vulnerability to spear phishing attacks.