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French nuke biz slapped in mystery cyberattack

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French nuclear power group Areva may have fallen victim to an operating system-level electronic attack, which was first detected in September.

Conflicting French media reports suggest hackers had access to Areva’s network as far back as two years (Slate France, here) or that the problem only affected "non-critical" data and systems (France Info, here). French business mag L’Expansion reports the hack affected Areva's operations outside France and blamed Asian (read Chinese or North Korean) hackers for the attack.

Local reports are consistent only in terms of talking about cyber-espionage, perhaps involving malware rather than some kind of terrifying Stuxnet-style nuclear kit sabotage caper.

Staff reportedly learned that all might not to be well with Areva systems in mid-September, following a weekend security upgrade that left some systems out of action for three days. The National Security Agency Information Systems (ANSSI) reportedly assisted the security upgrade.

We invited Areva to comment in the hopes of clarifying what happened, but had yet to hear back by the time of publication on Tuesday. ®

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