On the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, a nuclear power plant in Bavaria has been the victim of a computer virus and shut down as a precaution. Malware hit the IT network that handles the fuel handling system at block B of the reactor in Gundremmingen, in the west of the region.
A spokesperson for Gundremmingen told the newspaper Die Zeit that the virus did not pose any threat and only affected the computer's IT systems and not the equipment that interacts with the fuel. However the plant, which was shut down on Sunday 24 April, was still shut on Tuesday 26 April, the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Nuclear technology is a touchy topic for Germans, especially after traces of radioactivity connected to the catastrophe were found in German wildlife as recently as 2010.
The Federal Office for Security in IT (BSI) has earlier issued a warning that attacks on on industrial facilities could pose a threat, although BSI head Arne Schönbohm dismissed fears of a cyber attack leading to an explosion at a nuclear facility as "nonsense".
Spokesman for the nuclear plant Tobias Schmidt said: "Systems that control the nuclear process are analog thus isolated from cyber threats. These systems are designed with security features that protect them against manipulation."
It was believed the virus may have come from an employee's USB. The IT system at the plant is not connected to the Internet, the Local.de reported.