Feeds

IT contractor charged over US oil rig hack

Roughneck cracker charges

3 Big data security analytics techniques

An IT contractor has been charged with sabotaging offshore oil rig computer systems.

Mario Azar, 28, of Upland, California, allegedly damaged a drilling firm's computers out of spite after it declined to offer him permanent employment. Azar faces an indictment for unauthorised impairment of a protected computer, an offence punishable by a maximum sentence of up to ten years' imprisonment.

Until May 2008, Azar worked as an IT consultant with the Long Beach-based Pacific Energy Resources. He helped set up a computer system used to communicate between PER's offices and its oil platforms, carrying out functions such as remote telemetry and "leak detection".

Shortly after leaving the job, Azar allegedly hacked into the system and "caused damage by impairing the integrity and availability of data," according to the indictment returned by a Los Angeles grand jury on Wednesday. The assault caused thousands of dollars of damages, prosecutors charge.

Fortunately, although PER briefly lost control of its telemetry systems, the outage did not result in any oil leaks or environmental harm. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Long Beach Police Department who uncovered unspecified evidence that led to Azar's arrest.

Azar faces a court date over the hacking charge in a US District Court in Los Angeles on 6 April. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.