US pipelines face cyber attack

US natural gas pipeline companies have been the target of several cyber attacks over the past four months, raising concerns about vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure systems.

The US Department of Homeland Security confirmed the cyber intrusions date back to December 2011 and involve sophisticated spear-phishing, a technique which consists of sending fake emails to acquire confidential information or passwords, targeting specific personnel within the companies.

The motivation behind the attacks remains unclear. US officials did not rule out a foreign power trying to map the gas systems or hackers attempting to harm the pipelines.

The energy firms were alerted by the DHS weeks before the information went public.

The protection of key infrastructures against cyber attack will be discussed at the upcoming event organised by the Security and Defence Agenda in June. Keep checking our website for more information.

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