Use of multiple contractors could leave oil, gas operators open to hackers

April 18, 2015

In the vast network of data, drilling and pipes that’s made Marcellus shale an international energy reserve, computer attacks pose a serious threat.

Hackers target energy companies all the time because of the information and technology involved, but the public rarely hears about it, said Paul Kurtz, CEO of TruSTAR Technology, a Washington startup that allows companies to share anonymous information about hacks. He and other cybersecurity experts said the risk from these attacks extends beyond losing information to opening opportunities for serious damage.

“It’s quite easy for people to say, ‘It’s not going to happen here,’ ” said Kurtz, who was White House senior director for critical infrastructure protection in the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. “The problem is that the bad guys aren’t necessarily that selective. … There is no doubt that you could use a cyber attack to make things blow up.”
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