Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Network Security
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Cyberspies Believed Targeting Western Energy Firms
Cyberspies Believed Targeting Western Energy Firms

By Linda M. Rosencrance
July 1, 2014 2:47PM

    Bookmark and Share
The Dragonfly Group "is able to mount attacks through multiple vectors and compromise numerous third-party Web sites,” Symantec said. “Dragonfly has targeted multiple organizations in the energy sector over a long period....Its current main motive appears to be cyberespionage, with potential for sabotage a definite secondary capability.”
 



A group of cyberattackers has been planting malware in the industrial control system (ICS) software of energy companies in the U.S. and Europe to spy on their operations, according to researchers at security firm Symantec.

Among the targets of the group of attackers, identified by Symantec as Dragonfly, were energy grid operators, major electricity generation firms, petroleum pipeline operators, and energy industry industrial equipment providers. The majority of the victims were located in the United States, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey and Poland.

Known by other security vendors as Energetic Bear, the Dragonfly Group appears to have been in operation since at least 2011 and maybe even longer. Dragonfly initially targeted defense and aviation companies in the U.S. and Canada before shifting its focus mainly to U.S and European energy firms in early 2013.

State-Sponsored Hackers?

Analysis of the timestamps on the malware used by the attackers indicates that the group mostly worked between Monday and Friday, mainly in a nine-hour period that corresponded to a 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. working day in the UTC +4 time zone. Based on that information, it is likely the attackers are based in Eastern Europe and are a state-sponsored operation, Symantec said.

The Dragonfly Group displays a high degree of technical capability, Symantec said in a blog post on Tuesday. The attackers have not yet used their cyberespionage tools to inflict serious damage or disrupt energy supplies in the affected countries. But it is believed to be only a matter of time.

Worst May Be Coming

“The group is able to mount attacks through multiple vectors and compromise numerous third-party Web sites in the process,” Symantec said. “Dragonfly has targeted multiple organizations in the energy sector over a long period of time. Its current main motive appears to be cyberespionage, with potential for sabotage a definite secondary capability.”

The Dragonfly group is well resourced, with a range of malware tools at its disposal and is capable of launching attacks through a number of different points. Its most ambitious attack infected the software of a number of industrial control system equipment providers with a remote access-type Trojan.

This caused those companies to install the malware when they downloaded software updates for computers running ICS equipment, giving the attackers a way into the organizations’ networks, as well as giving them the means to mount sabotage operations against infected ICS computers, Symantec researchers said.

The attacks by Dragonfly follow those of Stuxnet, the first known major malware campaign to target ICS systems. However, Stuxnet only targeted the Iranian nuclear program, with sabotage as its primary goal. Dragonfly, on the other hand, seems to have a much broader focus with espionage and persistent access as its main focus, with sabotage an option for the future.

Two Malware Tools

In addition to compromising ICS software, Dragonfly has also used spam e-mail campaigns and watering-hole attacks to infect targeted organizations. The group has used two main malware tools: Backdoor.Oldrea, a custom piece of malware, either written by or for the attackers, and Trojan.Karagany.

Before it published its findings, Symantec notified affected victims and relevant national authorities, including the Computer Emergency Response Team centers that handle and respond to Internet security incidents.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Network Security
1.   Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
2.   Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
3.   Dropbox for Business Boosts Security
4.   Hackers Breached StubHub Accounts
5.   Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware


advertisement
Android SMS Worm on the Loose
Malware lets bad actors cash in.
Average Rating:
Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
Bug reportedly reveals ID of users
Average Rating:
New Technology Defeats Privacy Efforts
Study identifies 3 browser techniques.
Average Rating:


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.