Government regulators are warning nuclear plant operators about computer failures caused by Internet infections, disclosing disruptions of two important internal systems in January during a shutdown of an Ohio nuclear power plant. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said safety never was compromised at the Davis-Besse plant. But the NRC said it was issuing a formal information notice this week to remind operators about the threats to their computer networks from computer viruses. The government confirmed that two important systems — a safety parameter display system and the plant process computer — at Davis-Besse were knocked offline for several hours. The NRC said the plant operator, FirstEnergy Nuclear, determined that a contractor had placed an unprotected computer connection to its corporate network that allowed the so-called “Slammer” worm to spread internally. The utility also failed to install a corrective software patch from Microsoft Corp. Full Story
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