Spanish Police Arrest 2 Nuclear Power Workers for Cyber ​​Attacks on Radiation Alert System

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Spanish law enforcement officials have announced the arrest of two individuals in connection with a cyber-attack on the country’s Radioactivity Alert Network (RAR), which took place between March and June 2021.

The sabotage would have disabled more than a third of the sensors maintained by the Directorate-General for Civil Defense and Emergencies (DGPCE) and used to monitor excessive radiation levels across the country.

The reason for the attacks is not yet known.

“The two prisoners, former workers, attacked the computer system and caused the connection of the sensors to fail, reducing their detection capacity even in the vicinity of nuclear power plants,” says the Policía Nacional. said.

The law enforcement investigation, dubbed Operation GAMMA, began in June 2021 in the wake of an attack on the RAR network, a network of 800 gamma-ray detection sensors deployed in various parts of the country to detect spikes in radioactivity levels.

In a post-mortem analysis shared by the agency, the break-in was twofold, one that culminated in unauthorized access to the control center’s computer system to remove a web application used to manage the RAR system.

A second part of the attack involved attacking more than 300 sensors for two months, “thus losing their connection to the control center and thus reducing the network’s detection capacity.”

The Policía Nacional said the arrests were the result of a year-long investigation and a thorough analysis of “all communications from the sabotaged sensors”.

In addition, in Madrid and San Agustín de Guadalix, two homes and one business were raided, allowing authorities to seize several computers and communications equipment supposedly used to facilitate the attacks.

“During the investigation, it was determined that the two detainees had been responsible for the maintenance program of the RAR system, through a company contracted by the DGPCE, of which they had in-depth knowledge, making it easier for them to carry out the attacks. and assist them in their efforts to mask their authorship,” the agency said.