Cyber attacks aim at energy assets
Cyber attacks against the energy industry grew at an “alarming rate” in 2012, jumping 40 percent, according to a quarterly update from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“Throughout 2011 and 2012, intelligence, industry, and media reporting have all shown an increasing trend in cyber attacks targeted at energy and pipeline infrastructure around the world,” said the report, published by the department’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team.
The attacks ranged in their approaches. One, for example,used emails to draw workers, including those at pipeline companies, to click on links that would download malware onto their computers, according to the report.
Another involved sophisticated malware moved onto a computer system at a power generation facility through a USB drive, the report said. The malware was discovered on the drive only after an employee complained to technical support specialists that it was not functioning properly.
...Iran is behind some of these attacks. Part of it is payback for the cyber attacks against their nuclear program and their own energy industry. Some of the attacks may also be attempts to gain trade secrets. The cyber attacks on Iran used the USB drive trick to load the Stuxnet virus. The Saudis have been especially targeted by Iran.