[ISN] Hackers Breach Tech Systems of Multinational Oil Companies

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 03:59:08 -0600 (CST)

By John Markoff
The New York Times
February 10, 2011

At least five multinational oil and gas companies suffered computer 
network intrusions from a persistent group of computer hackers based in 
China, according to a report released Wednesday night by a Silicon 
Valley computer security firm.

Computer security researchers at McAfee Inc. said the attacks, which 
were similar to but less sophisticated than a series of computer 
break-ins discovered in late 2009 by Google, appeared to be aimed at 
corporate espionage. Operating from what was a base apparently in 
Beijing, the intruders established control servers in the United States 
and Netherlands to break into computers in Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Greece 
and the United States, according to a report, “Global Energy 
Cyberattacks: ‘Night Dragon.’ ”

The focus of the intrusions was on oil and gas field production systems 
as well as financial documents related to field exploration and bidding 
for new oil and gas leases, according to the report. The attackers also 
stole information related to industrial control systems, the researchers 
noted, but no efforts to tamper with these systems were observed.

McAfee executives declined to name the victim companies, citing 
nondisclosure agreements it signed before being hired to patch the 
vulnerabilities revealed by the intrusions. Last year, when Google 
announced that intellectual property had been stolen by Chinese 
intruders, it expressed frustration that while it had observed break-ins 
at a variety of other United States companies, virtually none of the 
other companies were willing to acknowledge that they had been 


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Received on Thu Feb 10 2011 - 01:59:08 PST

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