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Hackers entered U.S., European energy sector, says Symantec

Staff Writer | September 6, 2017
Advanced hackers have targeted United States and European energy companies in a cyber espionage campaign.
Power plant control room
Data security   Hackers successfully broken into the core systems
In some cases they successfully broken into the core systems that control the companies’ operations, according to researchers at the security firm Symantec.

Malicious email campaigns have been used to gain entry into organizations in the United States, Turkey and Switzerland, and likely other countries well, Symantec said in a report.

The cyber attacks, which began in late 2015 but increased in frequency in April of this year, are probably the work of a foreign government and bear the hallmarks of a hacking group known as Dragonfly, Eric Chien, a cyber security researcher at Symantec, said in an interview.

The research adds to concerns that industrial firms, including power providers and other utilities, are susceptible to cyber attacks that could be leveraged for destructive purposes in the event of a major geopolitical conflict.