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infosec-news: [ISN] Hackers Breach Tech Systems of Multinational

[ISN] Hackers Breach Tech Systems of Multinational Oil Companies

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_nospam>
Date: Thu Feb 10 2011 - 09:59:08 GMT

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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