Computer Sabotage at Nuclear Power Plant

Event Year: 1992 Reliability: Confirmed
Country: Lithuania
Industry Type: Power and Utilities

A computer programmer at the Ignalina Power Reactor Sation in Lithuania introduced a virus into one of the stations computers in an attempt to sabotage a reactor at the plant by introducing a virus into the computer system.  Oleg Savchuk was arrested on a charge of premeditated sabotage.  The station shut down the same day the incident was reported, however, a spokesman said this was coincidental and had nothing to do with the computer virus.  The cooling system in the first reactor broke down.

There is some controversy surrounding the case.  There were accusations that the station management fabricated the incident to get rid of Savchuk.  There were also suggestions by station management that Savchuck may have introduced the virus and then called it to the attention of management in order to receive a bonus for solving the problem.  The infected computer system was in control of subsidiary systems,  not the reactor according to the deputy minister of Power Engineering, Saulius Kutas in a statement to the Lithuanian news media.


Nuclear plant computer was infected with a virus.  There was a station shutdown, though it was reported to be coincidental and not caused by the virus. Oleg Savchuk was arrested for premeditated sabotage.