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Cyberattacks on Department of Energy

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Records indicate that the US Department of Energy was hit with cyberattacks almost 160 times in a four-year span.

The Energy Department houses sensitive information about the US power grid, energy labs and nuclear stockpiles, which is why it's disturbing that hackers compromised the department's security over 150 times.  USA Today found through documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act that there were 1,131 cyberattacks committed against the DOE between some time in 2010 and October of 2014.  Out of those 1,131, 159 (13.3%) were successful.

For their part, the DOE hasn't released much in the way of details.  They haven't said what information was accessed or who was behind the attacks.  Regardless, the fact that hackers were able to breach the DOE's systems raises alarming flags.  Could a foreign government access the power grid and shut it down?  Could they disable or even launch our nuclear arsenal?  An agency within the DOE, the National Nuclear Security Administration, was successfully attacked 19 times in that span.

The DOE's Office of Inspector General, an independent watchdog agency, discovered a number of vulnerabilities.  For example, 41 DOE servers and 14 DOE workstations had default or easily-guessable passwords.  

People, especially if you work for the government, "password" is not an acceptable password.