Energy Sector a Major Target for Chinese Military Hackers

Computer security firm Mandiant says the energy sector is one of the top targets for cyber espionage authorized by the Chinese government. 

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. 

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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