Feeds

Exxon, Shell, BP outed as mystery hack attack victims

'Millions of dollars' in data targeted

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Bloomberg News has identified six of the energy companies targeted in recent series of “coordinated covert and targeted cyberattacks” and says the victims could face legal liability for choosing not to disclose them to shareholders.

The roster includes Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Marathon Oil, ConocoPhillips, and Baker Hughes, according to an article the news service published on Thursday. The report cited one of the victim companies and investigators who declined to be identified.

The attacks were ongoing for at least two years and possibly as long as four years. The unknown hackers worked through servers located in China.

The attackers “targeted computerized topographical maps worth 'millions of dollars' that show locations of potential oil reserves,” Bloomberg said, citing Ed Skoudis, founder and senior security consultant for InGuardians. The hacks were first disclosed in a report issued by McAfee, which said they resulted in the in the loss of “project-financing information with regard to oil and gas field bids and operations.”

Bloomberg said none of the hacked companies disclosed the attacks to shareholders, and quoted a lawyer who said “there is certainly the potential for shareholder derivative liability.”

The report also cited a McAfee spokesman saying company researchers promised to withhold the identity of the compromised companies in exchange for their help in preparing the report, which was done to “educate the community.”

The public outing of the victims could cause companies to think twice about participating in anonymous studies in the future. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.