Chinese cyber-spies target energy firms

According to a white paper released by McAfee, individuals in China have been conducting “coordinated covert and targeted cyberattacks against global oil, energy and petrochemical companies in Kazakhstan, Greece, Taiwan and the USA since 2009″.

Besides an explanation of how the attacks – named Night Dragon – are being conducted, how cyber-espionage is increasingly a concern for firms and how the software company can prevent it, the report contains an appendix on attribution of these attacks to China. It seems that exfiltration activity was traced back to Beijing-based IP addresses and that the tools employed are of Chinese origin and used in Chinese underground hacking forums.

Provided the attacks do orignate in China, it is interesting to note the shift from the more “traditional” military cyber-warfare against Taiwan to economic cyber-espionage.