Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas along with Kentucky Rep. James Comer figure it’s about time Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm comes clean on how three DOE National Laboratories were targeted by a Russian hacking team last summer.
Lucas and Comer wrote a letter wrote a letter to Granholm calling for all documents and communications related to the hacking attack. Lucas did so in his capacity a Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and Comer as Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.
“Although it is unclear whether the attempted intrusions were successful, it is alarming that a hostile foreign adversary targeted government labs working on scientific research critical to the national security and competitiveness of the United States,” stated Lucas and Comer in their letter.
“The Committees request documents and information related to these incidents to determine the impact of the attempted intrusions, and evaluate what DOE is doing to ensure the continued security of sensitive scientific research and development at its National Laboratories.”
According to recent reports, between August and September 2022, a Russian hacking team, known to support Russian government information operations, created false login pages for three DOE National Laboratories and sent emails to nuclear scientists to elicit their passwords. The targeted labs—Brookhaven National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory—work on scientific research critical to the United States’ national security and competitiveness.
“A March 2022 White House fact sheet warned about potential cyberattacks, specifically stating that, ‘[t]here is now evolving intelligence that Russia may be exploring options for potential cyberattacks’ as a response to U.S. sanctions. The hacking group responsible for the attempted intrusions of DOE National Laboratories, known as Cold River, has been implicated in prior hacking operations targeting key allies of the United States to benefit the Russian government.” Chairmen Comer and Lucas continued.
The letter to Secretary Granholm can be found here.