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Cyber-Attacks on US Oil and Gas Companies May Impact the American Economy

Loredana BOTEZATU

September 25, 2013

Cyber-Attacks on US Oil and Gas Companies May Impact the American Economy

Attacks on oil and gas industry could have grave repercussions in the real-world markets and people might even feel ripple effects at the pump, a recent Council on Foreign Relations report shows.

Considering the cyber incidents against US oil companies including Saudi Aramco, Qatar RasGas, and Chevron, in the past couple of years, a recent Council on Foreign Relations report points out that online attacks on the US infrastructure segment can damage the country`s industry on the long run.

“Successful cyber-attacks threaten the competitiveness of the U.S. oil and gas industry, one of the nation’s most technically advanced and economically important sectors,” the report reads. “While intrusions previously focused on the theft of intellectual property and business strategies, the malware attack on Saudi Aramco reflects a worrying qualitative change toward attacks with the potential for causing physical disruptions to the oil and gas supply chain.”

A cyber-attack on the corporate network of the oil and natural gas Saudi Aramco destroyed sensitive business data and determined the company to take extreme measures to protect their assets. Saudi Aramco decided to replace altogether over 30,000 hard drives with brand new ones. Unfortunately this incident was not an isolated case. Other strategic American companies have experienced similar attacks.

“There’s a greater opportunity for cyber-attack than there was four or five years ago,” EnergySec president Patrick Miller told Dark Reading. “The physical attack threat is constant. The ability to cause long-term catastrophic damage is far greater from a physical perspective. The online threat is nonetheless something to take into account.”

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