Latest Middle East Cyber Attacks on U.S. Corporations Employ Sabotage

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Cyberwarfare (graphic: Radio Free Penzance)

Cyber attacks against American corporations have moved beyond attempts to steal data and now involve sabotaging computers that run important infrastructure operations.


Energy companies have been the targets of the latest attacks, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says originated from somewhere in the Middle East.


DHS officials would not say if the cyber attacks were the work of individuals or were state-sponsored.


The New York Times reported that the attempts, which are ongoing, employ probes designed to figure out how to seize control of processing systems in order to interfere with energy production.


A senior official told the newspaper that DHS is concerned about a repeat of what happened in Saudi Arabia last summer, when an Iranian-based cyber assault affected 30,000 computers at Saudi Aramco, one of the world’s largest oil producers.


That attack was similar to the American-Israeli operation that unleashed the Stuxnet worm on computers used in Iran’s nuclear enrichment plants, which was intended to slow Tehran’s goal of developing nuclear weapons.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Cyberattacks Against U.S. Corporations Are on the Rise (by David E. Sanger and Nicole Perloth, New York Times)

U.S. Warns Industry of Heightened Risk of Cyberattack (by Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post)

Report Fingers Chinese Army in Anti-U.S. Hacking Attacks (by Danny Biederman and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)  

China and Russia Lead in Stealing U.S. Economic Secrets (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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