Hacked: energy industry cyberattacks (Houston Chronicle)

06 / MAR / 2017
A Coast Guard cutter glides along the waters of the Sabine-Neches waterway, conducting sweeps for unprotected wireless signals that hackers could use to gain access to oil, gas and petrochemical facilities.


Four massive refineries sit along the 79-mile channel that cuts through this stretch of Gulf Coast. It's one of the largest concentration of refineries, pipelines, chemical plants and natural gas terminals in the United States - and an alluring target for espionage, disruption or worse.


"There are actors that are scanning for these vulnerable systems and taking advantage of those weaknesses when they find them," said Marty Edwards, director of U.S. Homeland Security's Cyber Emergency Response Team for industrial systems.As national attention focuses on Russian cyberattacks aimed at influencing the last presidential election, oil and gas companies face increasingly sophisticated hackers seeking to steal trade secrets and manipulate industrial sensors and operations.


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