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'Sophisticated' attack targets two Energy Dept. labs

Pacific Northwest National Lab and Jefferson National Lab shut down Web site, Internet access, and e-mail services after attacks.

The Web sites of the Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Lab and Jefferson National Lab were down today in the aftermath of "sophisticated" attacks, a spokesman at one of the labs told CNET.

The Richland, Wash.-based Pacific Northwest National Lab shut down its public Web site, Internet access, and e-mail service after the attack last Friday, spokesman Greg Koller said, adding that the Jefferson National Lab in Newport News, Va., was hit with a similar attack.

"No classified information has been compromised. About 20 percent we do here is classified," Koller said. "We have not found any indication that any of our unclassified information has been compromised [either]."

Meanwhile, the lab says it has identified the source and motivation behind the attack but is not releasing any details, he said.

Debbie Magaldi, a spokeswoman at Jefferson National Lab, confirmed the attack at the facility, which is a basic research lab with no classified information. "Our IT people shut it down quickly," she said of the attack, adding that she could not provide more details.

Earlier this year, another Energy Department lab was targeted with an attack. The Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee shut down Internet access in April after data-stealing malware reached the network via a spear phishing attack that included an exploit for an Internet Explorer hole, Wired reported at the time.

Updated 1 p.m. PT with comment from Jefferson National Lab.