Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

Access to UK Supercomputer Suspended Following Cyberattack

Cyberattack Hits ARCHER Supercomputer in UK

Access to UK’s ARCHER Supercomputer Was Suspended Following Cyberattack

Cyberattack Hits ARCHER Supercomputer in UK

Access to UK’s ARCHER Supercomputer Was Suspended Following Cyberattack

Access to one of the most powerful supercomputers in the United Kingdom was suspended this week following a cyberattack. 

Hosted by the University of Edinburgh and packing 118,080 processing cores running on a Cray  XC30, the ARCHER (Advanced Research Computing High End Resource) supercomputer is the primary academic research supercomputer in the UK. The ARCHER Service was started in November 2013.

On May 11, 2020, the team behind ARCHER disabled access to the service due to a “security exploitation” on its login nodes. The team announced that jobs already running or queued would continue to run, although login has been disabled and no other jobs could be added. 

The team also made the decision to revoke existing passwords and rewrite SSH keys. When attempting to log back in after access to ARCHER is restored, operators will need  to use new passwords and SSH keys. 

“We would advise you to also change passwords and SSH keys on any other systems which you share your ARCHER credentials with,” the team said on Wednesday. 

The security incident, the team says, appears to be part of “a major issue across the academic community as several computers have been compromised in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.”

The EPCC Systems team has been working with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and Cray/HPE to investigate the incident and address the issue, but the ARCHER Service will remain unavailable over the weekend as well. 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“We are hoping to return ARCHER back to service early next week but this will depend on the results of the diagnostic scans taking place and further discussions with NCSC,” the team said today. 

No further details on the attack have been provided, nor on the actors suspected to be behind it. 

Last week, the United States and the UK issued a joint alert to warn of advanced persistent threat (APT) groups “actively targeting organizations involved in both national and international COVID-19 responses,” including pharmaceutical companies, medical research organizations, and universities. 

Related: US and UK Warn of Adversaries Targeting COVID-19 Responders

Related: US Says China Trying to Steal COVID-19 Vaccine Research

Related: Merkel Cites ‘Hard Evidence’ Russian Hackers Targeted Her

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Click to comment

Trending

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join the session as we discuss the challenges and best practices for cybersecurity leaders managing cloud identities.

Register

SecurityWeek’s Ransomware Resilience and Recovery Summit helps businesses to plan, prepare, and recover from a ransomware incident.

Register

People on the Move

Former DoD CISO Jack Wilmer has been named CEO of defensive and offensive cyber solutions provider SIXGEN.

Certificate lifecycle management firm Sectigo has hired Jason Scott as its CISO.

The State of Vermont has appointed John Toney as the state’s new CISO.

More People On The Move

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.

Cybercrime

A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...

Cybercrime

As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.

Cybercrime

Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group informed some customers last week that their online accounts had been breached by hackers.

Cybercrime

Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Cybercrime

Patch Tuesday: Microsoft calls attention to a series of zero-day remote code execution attacks hitting its Office productivity suite.

Artificial Intelligence

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.