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More US military research companies hit by cyber attacks

More cyber attacks recently caused two US military research labs and a military contractor to shut down their web sites. Reuters reports that last Friday, attacks from unnamed sources hit the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state and the Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory in Virginia. In addition a defense contractor, Battelle Corp, was also affected. The three companies shut down their Internet access once the cyber attacks were discovered. The two research labs have yet to restore their external web sites, according to the story.

A spokesperson for one of the research labs, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, stated that no classified info was exposed as a result of the cyber attacks. The story does not have any comments from the other two companies. Last May it was revealed that military contractor Lockheed Martin got hit with a cyber attack on their servers. The company said at the time that no info on the servers was exposed.

As more and more cyber attacks on businesses and government web sites are discovered, the government is trying harder to fight them off, especially since these attacks could be considered acts of war if they are supported by other governments. Recently the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (better known as DARPA) announced plans to fund and create a simulated version of the Internet. The purpose of this project, called the National Cyber Range, is to use the simulation to help fight off both domestic and international cyber attacks. The project is expected to start operations in mid-2012.

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