This is becoming increasingly serious!


GMT Luke Johnson 02 November 2012 20:51 GMT US giant Occidental Petroleum said it suffered “a cyber attack” in 2009 and 2010 but said the incident had no impact on the company’s operations. Oxy said in a section of its third-quarter filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission titled “Risk Factors” that it does not believe its risks have changed materially. The company said it made the disclosure “given the growing concerns over cyber attacks”. “In 2009 and 2010, Occidental experienced a cyber attack on its email system, which had no effect on its operations, financial systems or reputation,” the filing said. The SEC last year issued details on when publicly traded companies should report hacking incidents. “Cyber attacks on businesses have escalated in recent years. Occidental relies on electronic systems and networks to control and manage its oil and gas, chemicals and pipeline operations and has multiple layers of security to mitigate risks of cyber attack,” the filing said. “If, however, Occidental were to experience an attack and its security measures failed, the potential consequences to its businesses and the communities in which it operates could be significant.” The energy industry has been a growing target of cyber attacks in recent years. The US Department of Homeland Security issued a warning in May that hackers had been targeting gas-transportation infrastructure since December and that operators were at risk. In April, Iran’s oil facilities were hit by attacks as well. A report this year by computer-security firm McAfee found that cyber espionage was on the rise, with Chinese hackers stealing field data and cutting-edge technology from energy companies around the world since at least 2009. Last year, leading computer-security firm McAfee issued a report on an incident dubbed Night Dragon in which Chinese hackers broke into the computer systems of five multinational oil and gas companies to steal bidding plans and other critical proprietary information.