Oil Firms Hit by Hackers From China, Report Says

Western energy firms have been targeted in cyber espionage attacks, apparently orchestrated by hackers working from inside China, the Wall Street Journal reports:

Law-enforcement agencies said they are investigating the incidents, which McAfee said have been going on at least since late 2009 but may have started as early as 2007. The company said the attacks, which they dubbed “Night Dragon,” were still occurring.

McAfee said the hackers targeted five multinational firms, but wouldn’t identify the companies by name because some of them are clients. McAfee said it was sharing the findings “to protect those not yet impacted and to repair those who have been.” Asked if they were victims of the hacking, BP PLC and ExxonMobil Inc., among other large oil companies, declined to comment. Chevron Corp. said it wasn’t aware of any successful hacks into the company’s data systems by Night Dragon.
Sensitive Internal Documents Taken

According to McAfee, the cyberattacks successfully took gigabytes of highly sensitive internal documents, including proprietary information about oil- and gas-field operations, project financing and bidding documents. And that pattern of espionage, the company said, should raise fresh alarms in the corporate world about information theft.

Also on the topic of cyber attacks and cyber security, see “U.S.-China Cyber War Scenario in the Eyes of a Chinese Student” by Ella Chou on the Atlantic blog.

February 9, 2011 11:44 PM
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