According to a report Mandiant released last week, energy companies were the sixth-most-frequent target of the group it refers to as APT 1. The report identifies APT 1 as likely being a unit of the People’s Liberation Army, based in Shanghai.
Stephen Webster is chief technology officer for Houston-based MRE Consulting. He says energy companies are already spending many millions of dollars to beef up their cyber security.
"The challenge for them continues to be any corporation has a limited amount of resources to throw at defending themselves against these kind of attacks, especially when you’re dealing with a nation-state that basically has almost unlimited funding and capital."
Webster says such attacks fall into one of two types. The first involves the theft of information that can provide a business advantage. The second involves finding weaknesses in energy infrastructure that could be used to control or damage it in the event of cyber warfare.