US energy industry under cyberattack by Iranian hackers

Unnamed United Stated officials, both current and former, spoke with the folks at the Wall Street Journal, revealing that hackers backed by the Iranian government have ramped up cyberattacks against the US, specifically zeroing in on the control systems that manage the energy industry. Unlike the Chinese hackers who have infiltrated various US companies, the intent behind the Iranian hackers appears to be sabotage.

The United States is no stranger to cyberattacks from Iran, which has been carrying on DDoS attacks against various bank websites for some time now. The difference with the latest attack from the nation is the potential for damage it provided, as well as showing a different area of intent behind the hackers' motives, one that points toward wrecking havoc and causing disruption.

Reportedly, this newest attack by the hackers, according to a former US official, provided them with access to the control system for various gas and oil pipelines. Such a breach went "far enough to worry people." That's not all, however, with it also being reported that the hackers are using surveillance to access data, having accessed information on how to destroy or otherwise harm the systems controlling company operations.

It was suggested by one official that Iran could end up provoking a response from the United States if it does not back off its cyberattacking efforts: "This is representative of stepped-up cyber activity by the Iranian regime. The more they do this, the more our concerns grow. What they have done so far has certainly been noticed, and they should be cautious."

Which oil, gas, and electric companies are being targeted was not specified, with the officials only saying that some of them lie along the US and Canadian border. Likewise, the proof that Iran is behind the attacks wasn't specified either, with the officials merely saying that there is "technical evidence." Not surprisingly, Iran denies having engaged in any such activities, but did point out that it has suffered these kind of attacks from the US.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal

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