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Hackers obtain sensitive data on nuclear power plants, prisons from French company

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo of Fessenheim nuclear plant

Hackers have accessed thousands of sensitive documents about nuclear power plants, prison facilities and tram networks in a cyber attack on a French company involved in designing nuclear waste sites.

German and French media reported on Friday the cyber attack against Ingerop Engineering company in the city of Rueil-Malmaison, recently criticized by anti-nuclear activists for its role in construction of nuclear waste dumping site near the French border with Germany.

According to reports by German-based public broadcaster NDR and the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, as well as the major French newspaper Le Monde, the yet unknown hackers have stolen more than 65 gigabytes of data from the company’s servers back in June.

NDR further quoted an Ingerop spokeswoman as saying that more than 11,000 files from a dozen company projects were illegally accessed.

The stolen data were believed to include designs showing the planned locations of video cameras for a French high-security prison, documents relating to a planned nuclear-waste dump in northeastern France, as well as personal information on more than 1,000 Ingerop employees.

A number of the documents, the reports noted, were connected with the Fessenheim nuclear plant on the French border with Germany.

Ingerop insists, however, that not all of the design plans had been accessed. It further stated that it had informed the affected clients and installed unspecified security measures in place.

The French firm has been the target of major criticism by both French and German anti-nuclear activists in the past few months for its role in planning an underground nuclear-waste dumping site in Lorraine, due to be constructed in the next few years. The future nuclear dump site would be just 125 kilometers from the German border.

The press reports also revealed that investigators have found some of the Ingerop data on a rented server in the western German city of Dortmund, without elaborating on potential suspects.


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