House Republicans this week requested more information from the Department of Energy (DoE) on a recent series of cyberattacks aimed at three DoE national laboratories to gauge the scope of the attacks, and the agency’s current cybersecurity posture. 


In a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Reps. James Comer, R-Ky., chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, and Frank D. Lucas, R-Okla., chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, asked for more details on the hacking attempts.


While it’s still unclear whether the attempted intrusions were successful, Reps. Comer and Lucas said they find it “alarming that a hostile foreign adversary targeted government labs working on scientific research critical to the national security and competitiveness of the United States.”


“The Committees request documents and information related to these incidents to determine the impact of the attempted intrusions and evaluate what [the Energy Department] is doing to ensure the continued security of sensitive scientific research and development at its national laboratories,” they wrote. 


In addition to information on the hacking attempts, the House leaders want access to communication between contractors and subcontractors supporting the Energy Department regarding the cyberattacks.


The attacks allegedly occurred between August and September 2022 at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.


Cold River – a hacking group implicated in operations to benefit the Russian government – is suspected of carrying out the alleged attacks.


Among their scientific pursuits, the targeted labs conduct “fundamental research in nuclear and particle physics; multidisciplinary science and engineering research; and work to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent,” respectively. 


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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.