Feeds

IT contractor charged over US oil rig hack

Roughneck cracker charges

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.