The Russian cyber-attack on the Wolf Creek nuclear power plant, in Coffey Co., two years ago also targeted another nuclear facility that’s less than an hour’s drive from Northeast Kansas, according to a new report from the New York Times. In an article on offensive efforts by the U.S. Cyber Command, the newspaper revealed previously undisclosed reports that the Moscow-backed hackers tried to breach the systems at Nebraska Public Power District’s Cooper Nuclear Station, located along the Missouri River, in Brownsville, Nebraska. The generating station is just over 40 miles north of Hiawatha, via Highways 73 and 67. In March 2018, the FBI and Dept. of Homeland Security confirmed the Russians were behind the attempted infiltration of Wolf Creek a year earlier. At the time of the attack, the hackers’ were described as using techniques that mimic a Russian group known as “Energetic Bear.” The hackers reportedly sent emails containing fake resumes to senior industrial control engineers at Wolf Creek. If the recipient clicked on the document, the attackers could steal their credentials to access other machines on a network. A similar method was used in against the Nebraska facility, the report states, making it into communications networks, but never took over control systems.
The federal report did not state whether the hackers were trying to steal secrets or cause destruction, or how often they successful, the New York Times reported.