[Satellite view of Comanche Peak]
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the manipulation of energy forecasting system files that an ex-employee of Energy Future Holdings is responsible for. The setback the company about $26,000 back in March.
Energy Future Holdings is the parent company of three electric companies in Texas. One of those subsidiaries is Luminent, a company that controls 18,300 megawatts of power and also operates the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant (picture above from Google Earth).
Dong Chul Shin was fired from Energy Future back in March over performance reasons and was escorted out of the office building. However Energy Future forgot to cut off Shin’s VPN access. Shin’s VPN account was accessed later and e-mailed secure information to a Yahoo! account. Shin also modified and deleted several files from his VPN account. The IP address of the VPN account was linked to Shin’s home.
Shin had also sent an e-mail to the engineering group of the Comanche Peak nuclear reactor and asked capacity questions. The FBI is treating this case as a federal computer crime. One of the files that was tampered was “Hourly Capacity Supplied ? 2009 upload.xls.” This file is used to determine the power generation that is required for RFH system components. The manipulation of this file impairs the company’s ability to sell electricity for that day, but did not threaten the safety of the plant.
After Shin was fired, he said that he would return the company laptop the next day but he didn’t. Company security had to show up to his door two days later and pick it up themselves. The company reported the crime to the FBI.