Sophisticated Hacking in Energy Industry Compromises Industrial Secrets

There’s an interesting story in the New York Times today by Nicole Perlroth which describes the efforts of sophisticated Russian hackers to obtain sensitive and protected information from hundreds of Western oil and gas companies in addition to energy investment firms. The goals of these hackers does not seem to be to damage or disrupt operations; no physical damage is being caused — rather they are seeking to uncover technical, financial and strategic information. The hackers have been able to affect over 1000 organizations in 84 countries.

Perlroth writes that the hackers, identified as ‘Dragonfly’ or ‘Energetic Bear’, have been able to hide malware in industrial control software programs used widely in the energy industry (not named) and through this mechanism are able to reside within corporate information systems where they can scan for sensitive information. The hackers have also been able to infect popular websites frequented by people in the energy industry. They have been able to infect not only software, but also hardware, Perlroth writes:

“In some cases, researchers found evidence that the hackers were probing the core of victims’ machines, the part of the computer known as the BIOS, or basic input/output system. Unlike software, which can be patched and updated, once a computer’s hardware gets infected, it typically becomes unusable.”

Thinking of this in the context of what we discuss here makes me wonder how hard competitors might work to uncover secrets behind any commercial LENR technology. Certainly Industrial Heat are very aware of the value of the intellectual property and technological information they hold, and will surely be taking steps to protect proprietary information.

As in this case, however, it seems unrealistic to expect that you can build an impregnable barrier around any technology with so many experts employed in looking for secrets using powerful hacking tools and strategies.

We have noted Industrial Heat’s current lack of communication. Maybe they are being as quiet as possible so as to avoid drawing attention to themselves from people who would surely be interested in using the kinds of espionage techniques mentioned in the NYT to gather information about their technology. It’s likely that efforts are already underway to discover the E-Cat’s secrets, but not on the massive scale which will likely take place if and when the E-Cat is finally widely recognized as being a revolutionary energy source.