Insight: Oil companies scramble to stay ahead of cybersecurity threats

This is the first in a series of two special features on cybersecurity in the oil and gas sector But for a coding error, an attempted cyberattack last year on a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia could have led to a catastrophic explosion. Malware implanted into the control system to sabotage the plant accidentally triggered a shutdown, but investigators say the attack was one of the most technologically advanced they had ever seen. Chillingly, they say the assailants – still not publicly identified – have likely already fixed the glitch and are lying in wait to target their next facility. That close call and several others have many experts convinced that the oil industry, even as it invests millions of hours on safety procedures, is ill-prepared on the cyber front. “The sector is becoming fair game. [Hackers] are seeing opportunities to attack the sector, and facility operators believe they are very well-protected,” a Washington-based cybersecurity analyst at FireEye and former oil industry consultant, Marina Krotofil said, “It is not a good combination.” Much of the focus on energy-related cybersecurity has been on power plants and grids, but authorities say oil and gas companies — responsible for critical infrastructure including refineries,… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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