At least 50 Norwegian oil and energy companies suffered a hack attack and 250 more need to evaluate their networks and systems for evidence of a breach, government officials said Wednesday.
Statoil, Norway’s largest oil company, was a target of the attack. “We have received a warning and are checking our systems according to routines,” said Statoil’s head of press, Ørjan Haraldstveit.
National Security Authority Norway (Nasjonal Sikkerhetsmyndighet – NSM) said 50 companies in the oil sector suffered from the hack and 250 more are checking their networks for any signs of the attack. NSM is Norway’s prevention unit for serious hack attacks.
The attack was the largest of its kind against Norwegian interests to take place, reported the Norwegian business newspaper, Dagens Næringsliv.
NSM said ”international contacts” warned of the possible attack. The agency has suspicions as to who is behind the attack, but it does not want to release that information right now.
Kjetil Nilsen, director of NSM, said companies are not aware of the amount of valuable data they risk losing.
“The ability to attack is increasing and there is great interest for our data,” Nilsen said before the attacks. “We live in a society of much data.”
While it’s still unknown what the attackers were looking for, officials said they may have gone after intellectual property, business and customer data.
This is not the first time attackers hit Norway’s oil companies. In late 2011, at least ten oil, gas and defense companies based in Norway ended up hacked via targeted spearphishing emails and the attackers made off with industrial drawings, contracts, usernames, passwords, and so on.