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What we know about the alleged cyber attack on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (and what we don’t know)

Update (October 30, 2019 3:15 pm): In a major U-turn, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) confirmed in a press release (given below) that an internet connected computer at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant had indeed been infected. Quint first reported this development. KKNPP had officially denied any such compromise yesterday. Confirming MediaNama's earlier report, it said that the malware was detected by CERT-In on September 4, 2019. The press release reiterated that the compromised computer was "isolated from the critical internal network". Also, investigation confirmed that plant systems were not affected. Update (October 30, 2019 10:29 am): The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) received a tip from an anti-virus company that observed “malicious activity” in the external network of KKNPP in early September, MediaNama has learnt from sources. A computer used by an employee in the finance department had been compromised. Indian Express first confirmed the breach. It is unclear at this stage how the malware got domain controller access to the system. Subsequently, an inter-agency team, consisting of CERT and National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC), was sent for clean-up in mid-September. Since it is a nuclear power plant, NCIIPC was sent, but according to our sources, no critical information itself was compromised. We have also learnt that such breaches occur on a regular basis, across infrastructural networks, and CERT keeps sending teams to clean them up. In early September, the external network at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in Tamil Nadu was compromised,…

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