The Department of Homeland Security has been issuing warnings against a new wave of cyber attacks aimed at sabotaging US corporations.
Cyber attacks have been hitting US corporations, primarily energy companies, from somewhere in the Middle East. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security are issuing warnings, stating that the attacks are not espionage, but are in fact attempts at sabotage. Probes have been used in order to look for ways to seize control of the energy companies' processing systems. Unfortunately, two senior administration officials have said that they still don't know where the attacks are coming from or whether they're government sponsored, or the work of hackers or criminals.
“We are concerned by these intrusions, and we are trying to make sure they don’t lead to something much bigger, as they did in the Saudi case,” said one official, refererring to the aggressive attack that affected 30,000 computers at one of the world's largest oil producers, Saudi Aramco. Lengthy investigations eventually led to the discovery that Iran was behind those attacks. Another official stated that all of the attacks were indeed originating from the middle east, but at the time, they cannot conclude whether Iran, or some other country, is the source.
These attacks are unusual, because most cyber attacks against American companies, particularly those coming from China, are attempts at corporate espionage. They've mostly involved finding trade secrets and confidential information to gain the competitive edge. The new attacks however, are mostly focused on either destroying data, or seizing and shutting down networks that run industrial processes or deliver energy.