Three US National Labs Compromised by Spear Phishing

Digital Doa reports that on July 1, the networks of

Battelle Memorial Institute
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and
An undisclosed national laboratory

suffered sophisticated attacks.  As of today, July 7, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ( was still off-line.

Battelle manages several Department of Energy labs including:

  • Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Idaho National Laboratory
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Computer World reports that  although the specifics of the attacks have not been disclosed, they were probably perpetrated by spear-phishing email, in the manner of the attack on Oak Ridge National Laboratory earlier this year.

Traditional security methods can’t detect and stop low volume, highly targeted spear-phishing email and training isn’t effective  – so what can be done to defend the enterprise against spear-phishing?  The enterprise can adopt a tool that identifies trusted email so that the target of the spear-phishing attack can distinguish real email from fake email.  That tool is SP Guard from Iconix.

SP Guard Inbox

SP-Guard provides the recipient with three confirmations that a message is real:

  1. List View. There is an integrity indicator in the list view of the email client.
  2. Message. The open message has a further indicator of authenticity.
  3. Mouseover. Mousing over the authentication indicator in the message prompts the display of a certificate that further identifies the sender.

SP-Guard is available now from Iconix. For further information, contact our sales team. At 408-727-6342, ext 3 or use our online form.


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