Chinese Hackers Hit Oil Giants
'Night Dragon' hackers stole vast amounts of sensitive info
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2011 4:21 AM CST
The stolen information "iis tremendously sensitive and would be worth a huge amount of money to competitors," a McAfee exec says.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Chinese hackers successfully broke into the systems of at least five Western energy multinationals in a "coordinated, covert and targeted" espionage campaign, according to a report by cybersecurity firm McAfee. The hackers had access to the oil firms' networks for years and made off with gigabytes of sensitive information including bidding documents and proprietary information about oil and gas field operations, according to McAfee, which labeled the attacks "Night Dragon."

The hacking appears to have been an organized campaign focused purely on spying instead of sabotage, but it's not clear who was behind it, according to McAfee's vice president of threat research. The attack was "potentially directed either by the private sector or the public sector," he tells the Wall Street Journal. "It's impossible for me to know for sure which one." Law enforcement agencies have launched an investigation based on McAfee's info.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
MPWA
Feb 10, 2011 11:22 AM CST
While there may be some bread crumbs of significance, it's more likely another "wag the dog" marketing attempt from a second-string marginalized security company looking for business. Imagine being recently acquired by a chip-maker and lving in fear of simply being absorbed it's a good strategy to wave the (insert enemy state here) hackers attack (insert newsworthy Western iconic industry here). We fall for it every time, but the problem is once in a while there really are dire issues. Perhaps the practice of offshoring to low-cost-geographies and hiring the majority of our Western petroleum engineers and geologists from Chinese universities may pose a more insidious threat in the espionage space over the long term?
Booser100
Feb 10, 2011 11:10 AM CST
Hmm...
beckjr2000
Feb 10, 2011 10:35 AM CST
I had no idea that the Obama administration was hiring Chinese contractors!