"Cyberattacks on nuclear-related facilities or activities should be taken very seriously," International Atomic Energy Agency Director Yukiya Amano recently told Reuters while visiting Germany. 

Without getting into specifics, Amano revealed that a nuclear plant had been the target of a "disruptive" — but not destructive — cyberattack two to three years ago, according to an Oct. 10 story published by Andrea Shalal. In addition, Amano recounted how there was an attempt to smuggle a small amount of highly enriched uranium about four years ago.

"This is not an imaginary risk," he said.

Though he had not previously discussed these events publicly, Amano did say he highlighted the issue of increasing precautionary measures for nuclear sites at an IAEA cybersecurity conference in June 2015 and increasing cyber and overall nuclear security would be a topic again at a summit in Vienna in December.

While no hackers have impacted reactor operations at nuclear installations, there have been cases of data exfiltration and viruses infecting internal networks.

Amano said IAEA continues to support global nuclear security training databases and the distribution of thousands of compact radiation detection devices.

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