Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
Investing in Crypto Currencies With Both Eyes WIDE OPEN! - 25th Oct 21
Is Bitcoin a Better Inflation Hedge Than Gold? - 25th Oct 21
S&P 500 Stirs the Gold Pot - 25th Oct 21
Stock Market Against Bond Market Odds - 25th Oct 21
Inflation Consequences for the Stock Market, FED Balance Sheet - 24th Oct 21
To Be or Not to Be: How the Evergrande Crisis Can Affect Gold Price - 24th Oct 21
During a Market Mania, "no prudent professional is perceived to add value" - 24th Oct 21
Stock Market S&P500 Rallies Above $4400 – May Attempt To Advance To $4750~$4800 - 24th Oct 21
Inflation and the Crazy Crypto Markets - 23rd Oct 21
Easy PC Upgrades with Motherboard Combos - Overclockers UK Unboxing - MB, Memory and Ryzen 5600x CPU - 23rd Oct 21
Gold Mining Stocks Q3 2021 - 23rd Oct 21
Gold calmly continues cobbling its Handle, Miners lay in wait - 23rd Oct 21
US Economy Has Been in an Economic Depression Since 2008 - 22nd Oct 21
Extreme Ratios Point to Gold and Silver Price Readjustments - 22nd Oct 21
Bitcoin $100K or Ethereum $10K—which happens first? - 22nd Oct 21
This Isn’t Sci-Fi: How AI Is About To Disrupt This $11 Trillion Industry - 22nd Oct 21
Ravencoin RVN About to EXPLODE to NEW HIGHS! Last Chance to Buy Before it goes to the MOON! - 21st Oct 21
Stock Market Animal Spirits Returning - 21st Oct 21
Inflation Advances, and So Does Gold — Except That It Doesn’t - 21st Oct 21
Why A.I. Is About To Trigger The Next Great Medical Breakthrough - 21st Oct 21
Gold Price Slowly Going Nowhere - 20th Oct 21
Shocking Numbers Show Government Crowding Out Real Economy - 20th Oct 21
Crude Oil Is in the Fast Lane, But Where Is It Going? - 20th Oct 21
3 Tech Stocks That Could Change The World - 20th Oct 21
Best AI Tech Stocks ETF and Investment Trusts - 19th Oct 21
Gold Mining Stocks: Will Investors Dump the Laggards? - 19th Oct 21
The Most Exciting Medical Breakthrough Of The Decade? - 19th Oct 21
Prices Rising as New Dangers Point to Hard Assets - 19th Oct 21
It’s not just Copper; GYX indicated cyclical the whole time - 19th Oct 21
Chinese Tech Stocks CCP Paranoia, VIES - Variable Interest Entities - 19th Oct 21
Inflation Peaked Again, Right? - 19th Oct 21
Gold Stocks Bouncing Hard - 19th Oct 21
Stock Market New Intermediate Bottom Forming? - 19th Oct 21
Beware, Gold Bulls — That’s the Beginning of the End - 18th Oct 21
Gold Price Flag Suggests A Big Rally May Start Soon - 18th Oct 21
Inflation Or Deflation – End Result Is Still Depression - 18th Oct 21
A.I. Breakthrough Could Disrupt the $11 Trillion Medical Sector - 18th Oct 21
US Economy and Stock Market Addicted to Deficit Spending - 17th Oct 21
The Gold Price And Inflation - 17th Oct 21
Went Long the Crude Oil? Beware of the Headwinds Ahead… - 17th Oct 21
Watch These Next-gen Cloud Computing Stocks - 17th Oct 21
Overclockers UK Custom Built PC 1 YEAR Use Review Verdict - Does it Still Work? - 16th Oct 21
Altonville Mine Tours Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 16th Oct 21
How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
The Only way to Crush Inflation (not stocks) - 14th Oct 21
Why "Losses Are the Norm" in the Stock Market - 14th Oct 21
Sub Species Castle Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 14th Oct 21
Which Wallet is Best for Storing NFTs? - 14th Oct 21
Ailing UK Pound Has Global Effects - 14th Oct 21
How to Get 6 Years Life Out of Your Overclocked PC System, Optimum GPU, CPU and MB Performance - 13th Oct 21
The Demand Shock of 2022 - 12th Oct 21
4 Reasons Why NFTs Could Be The Future - 12th Oct 21
Crimex Silver: Murder Most Foul - 12th Oct 21
Bitcoin Rockets In Preparation For Liftoff To $100,000 - 12th Oct 21
INTEL Tech Stock to the MOON! INTC 2000 vs 2021 Market Bubble WARNING - 11th Oct 21
AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Wall of Worry Meets NFPs - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Intermediate Correction Continues - 11th Oct 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Cyber Crime, The "New" Biggest Threat to the Energy Industry

Companies / Oil Companies Dec 13, 2011 - 07:59 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Companies

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleKerri Shannon writes: The energy industry has a dangerous enemy that is getting stronger and more motivated to damage companies' operations and wreak havoc on global oil prices.

This new threat comes from the growing trend of cybercrime, and the criminals have become more focused on disrupting large industrial systems, like those operating in the energy industry.


Indeed, oil companies are reporting more frequent, better organized attacks on their systems. With most of the world's energy production and distribution controlled by computers, this puts the industry in an incredibly vulnerable position.

Executives say the repercussions of an attack that isn't stopped in time could be massively harmful.

"If anybody gets into the area where you can control opening and closing of valves, or release valves, you can imagine what happens," Ludolf Luehmann, IT manager at Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE ADR: RDS.A, RDS.B), said at the World Petroleum Congress in Doha, Qatar. "It will cost lives and it will cost production, it will cost money, cause fires and cause loss of containment, environmental damage - huge, huge damage."

Crime Targets the Energy Industry
Cybercrime used to focus on hacking into systems to retrieve people's personal financial information. But now it's become more sophisticated and hackers more skilled, targeting more complex and protected systems to get highly classified information.

"The scene used to be dominated by speculative attacks - people being at the wrong place at the wrong time, but it was nothing personal," security researcher David Emm told BBC News. "But we certainly are in a different world than where we were 18 months ago. What we're starting to see is an increase in targeted attacks. We know critical systems, like those in oil production, are vulnerable to attack."

Shell's Luehmann told Reuters hackers are now unleashing attacks over longer periods of time, collecting more information than before to create more complex and resilient infections.

While other businesses can more easily shut down their information technology systems to update software security, the energy industry cannot simply turn off the oil and gas supply for long stretches of time. Any long disruption - from an attack or from trying to prevent one - wouldn't just affect one company, but the entire global oil market.

"Oil needs to keep on flowing," Riemer Brouwer, head of IT security at Abu Dhabi Co. for Onshore Oil Operations, told Reuters. "We have a very strategic position in the global oil and gas market. If they could bring down one of the big players in the oil and gas market you can imagine what this will do for the oil price - it would blow the market."

The energy industry became of aware of how far cybercrime has progressed when Stuxnet, a highly sophisticated piece of malware, was detected in June 2010. Stuxnet is believed to be the first worm created to target high-value infrastructure like power stations and water plants.

Stuxnet differs from most viruses in that it targets systems that commonly aren't connected to the Internet for security purposes. Instead it infects through keys used to move files around. After it infects the machine and can access a company's internal network, it hunts for specific software made by Siemens AG (NYSE ADR: SI). Stuxnet can then reprogram the software and give new instructions to the machinery it controls.

The Stuxnet virus crippled Iran's computers, putting the country's plan for atomic weapons at least two years behind schedule.
Stuxnet made the energy industry aware that an attack on their systems was not only possible but likely. Now it's one of their biggest concerns.

"It's something that we have to stay on top of every day," Dennis Painchaud, director of International Government Relations at Canada-based global energy company Nexen Inc. (NYSE: NXY), told Reuters. "It is a risk that is only going to grow and is probably one of the preeminent risks that we face today and will continue to face for some time."

The frightening truth is that with hackers able to operate from anywhere in the world, and becoming harder to detect, the industry is getting closer to a dangerous cyberattack. In fact, security software maker Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) in October published a report on a new virus similar to Stuxnet, named Duqu. Duqu appears to be designed to gather information that makes it easier to launch future attacks.

"So far we haven't had any major incidents," said Abu Dhabi Co.'s Brouwer. "But are we really in control? The answer has to be "no.'"

Time to Invest in Cybersecurity Stocks
With more industries feeling threatened by such attacks, companies that specialize in cybersecurity have a chance to flourish.

Companies and governments wanting to beef up their defenses will call on their services. It's estimated that about $221 billion a year is lost to cybercrime, and more high-level companies and institutions have been hit. The International Monetary Fund, the French Ministry of Finance, and global security company Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) have all been hacked this year.

"A lot of countries now are pumping money into research - the last 18 months have shown these people are after not just the public's money, but they're after larger organization's information," said researcher Emm.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, on Nov. 16 wrote a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, expressing the need for their chamber to take up legislation that deals with Internet-based attacks early next year.

"Given the magnitude of the threat and the gaps in the government's ability to respond, we cannot afford to delay action on this critical legislation," Sen. Reid wrote.

This means with more money being spent to protect against cybercrime, investors should act now to get ahead of the coming rush to cybersecurity stocks.

Investors have two ways to approach cybersecurity investing. You can focus on companies that provide specific data-protection products or online security, like Symantec Corp., Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP), and Sourcefire Inc. (Nasdaq: FIRE). Or you can get ahead of the curve by investing in companies that educate and train computer security experts, including ManTech International Corp. (Nasdaq: MANT) and SAIC Inc. (NYSE: SAI).

While these five companies are poised to profit from the explosive growth in cybersecurity spending, there's actually one other company - a small-cap player - that has a tremendous upside. If current projections are correct, the stock could soar by 174% or more over the next 12 months.

We recommended it to our Private Briefing investment service subscribers on Sept. 26. To get that pick - and access all our Private Briefing stock picks - click here.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2011/12/13/the-new-biggest-threat-to-the-energy-industry/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2011 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in