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Many nuclear plants wide open to cyberattacks

Many nuclear plants wide open to cyberattacks
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

If you stop to think about what hackers can do on a grand scale, there is reason to be concerned. It's one thing when hackers are sending you phishing emails, then inserting malware onto your computer system so they can steal your personal information.

That's terrible, so be sure to keep yourself protected with the most up-to-date anti-virus programs at the Komando Security Center. But what if hackers took over a much more sensitive computer system, like the one running a nuclear power plant?

That's exactly the fear among a group of researchers at the British think tank Chatham House. They say many civilian nuclear power plants around the world are vulnerable to attack.

Not only could that cause widespread disruption of the energy grid, but it could potentially damage the nuclear reactors themselves. That damage could result in the release of ionizing radiation, which can cause death if people are exposed to it for too long.

Nuclear accidents aren't unheard of. Just think about the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that seriously damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. Radioactive gas was released for about six days.

The Chatham House researchers say hackers could have a relatively easy time of causing the same type of damage. The problem is due in large part to lax computer security systems in place at nuclear facilities.

Next page: Why the lax security at nuclear power plants?
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