British Supercomputer ARCHER hit by a Cyber Attack


British Supercomputer ARCHER which is used for academic research by Universities operating in the UK has been hit by a cyber attack early this week forcing the admin to reset all user passwords and SSH keys.


According to the details available to Cybersecurity InsidersARCHER fell victim to security exploitation which is now being investigated by the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC)- a cyber arm of GCHQ. 


For this reason, the high-performance computing machine running on 4920 nodes of Xeon CPU remained unavailable to users since Tuesday.


A source from ‘The Register’ said that apart from ARCHER, several individual servers working across Europe have also fallen prey to a cyberattack which appears to be sophisticated and well-targeted. 


American authorities have already publicly blamed Russia, China, and Iran for launching cyberattacks on its digital assets to siphon data related to several institutional studies. So, the UK might follow the blame game and might put the suspicion on Russia, China, or Iran soon.


ARCHER is a supercomputing machine which is been driven by 118,080 Intel Xenon Cores serving the computational needs of an NHS Project sincerely working towards a vaccine development for Corona Virus, Atomic Weapons Establishment, European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast, and Meteorological Office. It was due for retirement this year as its operations were to be taken by ARCHER 2 from June 2020.


NCSC issued a press statement on Thursday saying that it is aware of the incident and will probe the matter to the core. 


Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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