A New Cyber Threat To US Oil & Gas Companies

U.S. embassies across the Mideast and North Africa remain on high alert, following the past week's series of attacks. The danger to American companies in the region may stretch from the physical world out into cyberspace.

Industrial espionage is one of the biggest threats oil and gas companies face on the Internet. Technical information, such as seismic data, makes an extremely tempting target. The same holds for financial information, such as on lease bidding.

Then, there’s what happened recently to Saudi Aramco. A virus took down much of the company’s internal computer networks, keeping them offline for nearly two weeks.

Adnan Amjad is a cyber security expert with Deloitte.

“They believe this attack was more politically motivated than something along the lines of cybertheft or intellectual property theft.”

A group calling itself “the Cutting Sword of Justice” claimed responsibility for the attack. Amjad says this is one of several such groups throughout the Middle East that target the IT systems of oil and gas companies out of political grievances rather than for financial gain.

 

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...