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British nuclear power plant in hot water over security blunders

by on29 March 2024

Potential digital doomsday

The British Sellafield nuclear power plant is facing the music for a catalogue of cyber clangers that could have left the UK's atomic knickers in a twist.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is taking a firm stance, presenting a comprehensive list of IT violations that would make any hacker envious.

Richard Meal, Sellafield's long-standing cyber security officer, has left his post and the dark satanic rumour mill has been churning claims that the plant has been hit with sneaky malware, courtesy of some shadowy figures from the East. The Guardian's hacks reckon Sellafield's been playing hide and seek with some cyber severe snooping since 2015. And it's not just any old eavesdropping – we're talking top-secret nuclear clean-up chit-chat that's been on the down-low since the '50s. The Guardian alleged that the extent of the breach only came to light when workers at other sites discovered they could remotely access Sellafield’s systems.

An insider at the site described Sellafield’s network as “fundamentally insecure” and drew attention to various concerns, including the use of USB memory sticks by third-party contractors and an incident in which a visiting BBC camera crew accidentally filmed and broadcast user credentials. So severe were some of the failings that they were supposedly nicknamed “Voldemort.”

The ONR is keeping quiet about the nitty-gritty, but the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero are standing by their man, insisting it's all systems safe at Sellafield.  Sellafield's pledging to patch up its cyber cracks.

Last modified on 29 March 2024
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