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Energy firms being targeted by more threats than ever before

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/jijomathaidesigners)

The energy sector is under increasing cybersecurity threat with worms, cryptojackers and spyware attacks in constant growth. This is according to a new report from Kaspersky, which says its solutions were triggered on “almost half of industrial control system (ICS) computers in the sector”, globally, for the first half of the year.

Worms, spyware and cryptojackers – malware which mines cryptocurrency for the attackers, took up some 14 per cent of the entire share, making them the biggest threat, when combined.  

Looking at these threats individually, worms were the biggest threat with 7.1 per cent, followed by spyware (3.7 per cent) and cryptominers (2.9 per cent). Kaspersky mentions three malicious programs which seem to have been causing most havoc – Agent Tesla, Meterpreter, and Syswin.

“The collected statistics, as well as analysis into industrial cyberthreats, are a proven asset for assessing current trends and predicting what type of danger we should all prepare for. This report has identified that security experts should be particularly cautious about malicious software that aims to steal data, spy on critically important objects, penetrate the perimeter and destroy the data. All of these types of incident could cause lots of trouble for industry”, says Kirill Kruglov, security researcher at Kaspersky.

Cybersecurity incidents in the energy sector are particularly dangerous, as they may result in production downtime and serious financial losses.

Besides the energy sector, Kaspersky says automotive manufacturing and building automation are also under increased pressure.