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NW National Lab still recovering from major cyber attack

Pacific Northwest National Lab is just recovering from a sophisticated cyber attack.
Pacific Northwest National Lab is just recovering from a sophisticated cyber attack.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state gets about 4 million cyber attacks a day. But workers there are just now getting back online after a sophisticated attack shut down most Internet services last Friday.

The Pacific Northwest National Lab is known for its top cyber security researchers, energy smart-grid technology and its work for the Department of Defense. But that didn't spare it from a malicious cyber attack.

Greg Koller is a spokesman with the lab. He says there was no breach of classified information. But most of the lab's web-based communication tools had to be offline for several days.

He says workers soldiered on with by using faxes, phones and old-fashioned walking from building to building.

"One silver lining to all this, if you had to pick a week during the year, this would have been one of the better weeks to do it," Koller said. "Other than the week between Christmas and New Year's."

Koller wouldn't comment on who might have organized the attack. The corporate headquarters of Battelle in Columbus, Ohio and Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory in Virginia were also targeted with similar attacks.

On the Web:

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Copyright 2011 Northwest Public Radio

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.