McAfee Report: Chinese Hackers Attack Oil Companies
February 10, 2011 1:16 PM
comment(s) - last by
Several financial documents, bidding contracts and copied proprietary industrial processes were obtained by the hackers
announced that five multinational gas and oil companies and seven other unidentified companies have had their computer systems broken into by Chinese hackers, where sensitive information such as bidding plans have been stolen.
Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee's vice president for threat research, named the attacks "Night Dragon" in McAfee's report.
"It speaks to quite a sad state of our critical infrastructure security," said Alperovitch. "These were not sophisticated attacks, yet they were very successful in achieving their goals."
The Night Dragon report did not release the names of the five energy firms, nor did it identify those responsible for the hacking. But the computer security company did report that the hack was traced to China through a server leasing company located in Shandong Province, which hosted the malware. It was also traced to Beijing IP addresses, which were being used between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The report notes that the
hackers infiltrated the computer systems
either through public websites or infected e-mails sent to executives within the companies. They have obtained financial documents, bidding contracts and copied proprietary industrial processes.
"Starting in November 2009, coordinated covert and targeted cyberattacks have been conducted against global oil, energy and petrochemical companies," said McAfee in its report. "We have identified the tools, techniques and network activities used in these continuing attacks - which we have dubbed Night Dragon - as originating primarily in China."
The hackers not only
broke into the computer systems
, but also targeted executives and other individuals in Greece, Taiwan, Kazakhstan and the United States in order to obtain confidential information.
"That information is tremendously sensitive and would be worth a huge amount of money to competitors," said Alperovitch.
Alperovitch added that there is no evidence that
is "government sponsored in any way."
China has had quite a past linked to hacks like this, such as the hack on
in December 2009. Chinese hackers broke into Google's network in an attempt to retrieve the e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.
"This is normal business practice in China," said Jim Lewis, a cyber expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank. "It's not always state sponsored. And they do it to each other."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu announced at a press briefing in Beijing today that he had no idea that the hack on the five energy companies had even occurred.
"I really have no grasp of this situation, but we frequently hear about
these types of reports
," said Zhaoxu.
The hacks stemming from China has Western companies and governments concerned, but officials say are familiar with these attacks.
"We are aware of these types of threats, but we can't comment specifically about what's in the Night Dragon report," said FBI spokeswoman Jenny Shearer.
Lewis said that Beijing does not arrest hackers very often, but it is "not impossible."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
2/10/2011 2:19:22 PM
I have had machine owned by power companys conduct brute force attacks on my internet facing servers.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
Pro-Wikileaks Hacker Group Calls For War Against the UK Government
January 31, 2011, 10:32 AM
Hamburgled: Hackers Nab McDonald's, Walgreen's Email Databases
December 15, 2010, 6:17 PM
Cybersecurity is Everyone's Problem
June 24, 2009, 7:59 AM
IBM Workers Strike Over Terms of Deal That Will Have Them Working for Lenovo
March 6, 2014, 9:29 AM
Google Picking Up Artificial Intelligence Company "DeepMind" for $400 Million
January 27, 2014, 9:25 AM
Quick Note: Qualcomm Grabs up Palm, IPAQ, and Bitfone Patent Portfolio from HP
January 24, 2014, 9:18 AM
Verizon Buys Intel Media OnCue Cloud TV assets
January 21, 2014, 10:26 AM
Google's First Asian Data Centers Now Operational
December 11, 2013, 8:50 AM
IBM to Offer Watson Supercomputer as Cloud Development Platform
November 14, 2013, 12:00 PM
Most Popular Articles
Facebook Kills Popular Messenger App for PCs
March 1, 2014, 4:01 PM
Mt. Gox Bitcoin CEO Can't Stifle Grin as he Bows in Apology for Bankruptcy
February 28, 2014, 5:00 PM
Bitcoin King: Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès' History of Arrests, Firings
March 5, 2014, 9:05 AM
Two More Microsoft Executives Leaving the Company
March 3, 2014, 4:38 PM
USAF Moves Forward With Long Range Bomber Program Despite Budget Crunch
March 4, 2014, 9:44 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information