back to article Particle accelerator hacked: Boffins' hashed passwords beamed up

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is investigating a computer security breach at the Australian Synchrotron that saw hackers steal scientists' usernames and passwords Friday. Hackers of as yet unknown origin hit systems hosting the web portal where researchers from ANSTO and third parties can …

  1. Oh Homer

    Is this a Distributed Denial of Science attack?

    I'll get my lab coat...

    1. Adam 1

      Re: Is this a Distributed Denial of Science attack?

      The good thing about these types of passwords is that if the attackers try to observe them, the passwords will collapse.

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Victorian atom-smashing facility

    I don't think being in Victoria makes it Victorian.

    Unless of course it is a Victorian atom-smashing facility, with big brass levers and giant steam hammers to smash atoms - which I secretly hope it is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Victorian atom-smashing facility

      How great would a Steam-Punk Atom smasher be? Want to get kids into science, make hi-tech stuff touchy feely with knobs, flashing lights, levers, whoosing sounds and the occasional bang.


      Took my Kids to the the Thinktank in Brum who are hosting exhibits from the MAD museum in Stratford-Upon-Avon and the Caberet Mechanical Theatre

      Great bonkers inventions that the kids love:

      1. DropBear

        Re: Victorian atom-smashing facility

        "How great would a Steam-Punk Atom smasher be?"

        I'm sort of envisioning a large centrifugal regulator-like thingie, where two atoms are carefully loaded (with huge pincers, while wearing thick leather gloves and dark welding goggles, of course) into the regulator spheres, then they spin up, and when they're just a whirling blur a lever is sprung, the spheres suddenly split up and the atoms get hurled into giant cast iron bullseye targets with brass accents.

        ....what? Don't all particle accelerators work that way...?

        1. Tom 7

          Re: Victorian atom-smashing facility

          Would a steam-punk atom smashing facility have a hipster canteen where all food, including soup, is served on a length of planck?

          1. DropBear

            Re: Victorian atom-smashing facility

            Well, as any hipster fule kno, all you need to do is place a microscopic black hole at the center first, and the resulting curvature of space will do the rest keeping the soup nicely in place even on a flat "planck"...

    2. Cuddles

      Re: Victorian atom-smashing facility

      "I don't think being in Victoria makes it Victorian."

      In addition, it has nothing whatsoever to do with atom smashing. It even makes it clear right on the page the article linked to - this is a synchrotron light source which produces (oddly enough) light (mainly x-rays, but covering a wide spectrum down to infrared) by accelerating electrons. No atoms are involved, let alone smashed. It is a facility though, so they did at least get one word correct.

  3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


    MD5 isn't so bad if the salt tables are stored separately from the hashes. It's all a matter of stalling for time so that the intrusion can be detected before usable data is stolen.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    For anyone who's interested...

    Here's a tour of the facility...

    Courtesy of Dave Jones from EEVBlog...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Young Einstein Splits The Beer Atom

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was their CIO broadcasting the passwords from his roof?

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Alistair

    Anitpodal hijinks going BOOM

    Synchotron not Partical accelerator, no access to the 'nuke reactor?

    Darn. No Saturday BOOM then.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Passwords all over

    Boffins usually love SSH authorized keys so in for a penny, ...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I is in u'r acceleratorz

    Breaking u'r hadronz.

    (gets coat)

  11. Hans 1

    Title ? Clickbait much ?

    As was reported up there, not a particle smasher, worse, the title suggests the accelerator was hacked, when, in fact, it was an off-site web portal .... there I was hoping to see some blackhat with a serious science degree creating havoc in the accelerator ... sad, really ... come on, guyz, you can do better than that!

  12. G_Axelsson

    I like that promotional video...

    Especially the part at 8.45 where they talked about "We loose the race for innovation" while the guy writes "screnn -x" and the computer answers "command not found".

    Was that the best illustration they could find? :-)

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