New “highly sophisticated” cyber attacks on U.S. government labs

July 8, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
No Comment

via VentureBeat

Today two government-funded research laboratories and a government contractor in the United States are still recovering from a “highly sophisticated” cyber attack that took place during the July 4 holiday weekend.

The attacks are under investigation, and not many details have been released by investigators.

The first attack happened at the Energy Department’s Jefferson Lab, located in Newport News, VA. The lab’s website is currently live at and it appears to be fully restored. We have put in a request for an update with the public affairs manager, but have not heard back yet.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington (PNNL) was the second laboratory attacked. PNNL’s website is still down as of today, but according to Government Computing News (, it has restored internal communications and external e-mail. The Department of Homeland Security’s Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report cites a Pacific Northwest spokesman saying the lab’s external computer network averages 4 million unauthorized access attempts each day.

Battelle, a government contractor that manages PNNL, was the third attack over weekend.

“The good news is no classified information has been compromised or is in danger from this attack,” said PNNL spokesman Greg Koller in an interview with Reuters. “At this time, we have not found any indication of ‘exfiltration’ of information from our unclassified networks as well.”

Continued here.