Energy Sector a Major Target for Chinese Military Hackers

Computer security firm Mandiant says the energy sector is one of the top targets for cyber espionage authorized by the Chinese government. 

According to a report Mandiant released last week, energy companies were the sixth-most-frequent target of the group it refers to as APT 1. The report identifies APT 1 as likely being a unit of the People’s Liberation Army, based in Shanghai.

Stephen Webster is chief technology officer for Houston-based MRE Consulting. He says energy companies are already spending many millions of dollars to beef up their cyber security.

"The challenge for them continues to be any corporation has a limited amount of resources to throw at defending themselves against these kind of attacks, especially when you’re dealing with a nation-state that basically has almost unlimited funding and capital."

Webster says such attacks fall into one of two types. The first involves the theft of information that can provide a business advantage. The second involves finding weaknesses in energy infrastructure that could be used to control or damage it in the event of cyber warfare. 

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...