(The Hosting News) – Cybersecurity researchers have announced that a group of Russian hackers known as “Energetic Bear” has been targeting hundreds of oil and gas companies in Europe and the U.S. since at least 2011.
Security company Symantec noted the hacking campaign in its blog yesterday, stating that the group, also known as Dragonfly, had additionally targeted multiple governments, health care, and defense contractors.
“These infections not only gave the attackers a beachhead in the targeted organizations’ networks, but also gave them the means to mount sabotage operations against infected I.C.S. computers,” wrote Symantec.
According to CNBC, the group’s attacks have affected over 1,000 companies and organizations in more than 84 countries, though most were oil and gas companies.
Security company CrowdStrike first discovered the attacks in August 2012 due to the groups aggressive attacks.
Dragonfly’s most recent attack occurred in early 2013 in energy firms in the U.S. and Europe in which the group send malware in phising emails to the targeted companies.
“Dragonfly bears the hallmarks of a state-sponsored operation, displaying a high degree of technical capability. The group is able to mount attacks through multiple vectors and compromise numerous third party websites in the process. 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.”