House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) today wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm calling for all documents and communications related to three DOE National Laboratories targeted by a Russian hacking team during the summer of 2022.
“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology write to request documents and information related to three U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories targeted by a Russian hacking team during the summer of 2022. Although it is unclear whether the attempted intrusions were successful, it is 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 DOE is doing to ensure the continued security of sensitive scientific research and development at its National Laboratories,” wrote Chairmen Comer and Lucas.
According to recent reports, between August and September 2022, a Russian hacking team, known to support Russian government information operations, created false login pages for three DOE National Laboratories and sent emails to nuclear scientists to elicit their passwords. The targeted labs—Brookhaven National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory—work on scientific research critical to the United States’ national security and competitiveness.
“A March 2022 White House fact sheet warned about potential cyberattacks, specifically stating that, ‘[t]here is now evolving intelligence that Russia may be exploring options for potential cyberattacks’ as a response to U.S. sanctions. The hacking group responsible for the attempted intrusions of DOE National Laboratories, known as Cold River, has been implicated in prior hacking operations targeting key allies of the United States to benefit the Russian government.” Chairmen Comer and Lucas continued.