Japanese Nuclear Regulator Suffers Cyber Attack – Report

Nuclear agency in Japan (the Nuclear Regulation Authority) reportedly suffers a cyber attack and switched off its email systems

A cyber attack took down the official website of the Japanese nuclear regulator for a number of hours, it has been reported.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said Tuesday that its official website became inaccessible possibly due to cyber attacks.

According to the Japan Times, the attack came a week after its intranet witnessed “an unauthorized access from outside.”


Website attack

The NRA reported said that it was alerted to the cyber attack when the Japanese government’s cybersecurity institute notified it of the website disruption on Tuesday afternoon.

There was no abnormality when the NRA updated the website Monday evening, it reportedly said.

However, according to security expert Graham Cluley, the NRA did state it had temporarily disabled its email systems as a result of the suspected cyber attack.

The website remained inaccessible for hours, but the problem was resolved by around 8:30pm, the NRA reportedly said.

In August, a fake website resembling that of the NRA was also reportedly discovered.

Nuclear attacks

Cyber attacks against nuclear bodies and organisations are nothing new.

In mid 2019 Indian officials confirmed that its newest nuclear power plant (the Kudankulam nuclear power plant) had been hacked.

In 2017, the United States had warned of ongoing online attacks on critical sectors including energy, nuclear and manufacturing.

That came after the US Department of Energy (DOE) acknowledged a campaign of attacks that targeted a number of energy companies, including at least one nuclear plant.

In 2016 a German nuclear power plant in Bavaria admitted that its systems were riddled with malware, and it was shut down as a precaution.

In 2015 an attacker managed to hack into the systems of a nuclear power plant in South Korea.

A computer worm was later discovered in a device connected to the control system, but the plant operator insisted that the breach had not reached the reactor controls itself.

The hacker later posted files from the hack online, and included a demand for money.