Russian hackers have been doing “exploratory research” into the systems of the Dutch LNG terminals, trying to find ways into the systems, American cyber security company Dragos has reported.
According to Dragos’ Casey Brooks, hacker groups Xenotime and Kamacite have been poking at the digital systems of Gasunie’s LNG terminal in Eemshaven in Rotterdam. The FBI has revealed that Xenotime and Kamacite have ties to the Russian secret service.
Dutch company ElectricIQ has also reported increased activity around vital infrastructure in Europe and the Netherlands. Joep Gommers of ELectricIQ has told RTL that it makes sense that Russian hackers are now targeting Dutch LNG terminals, “It is certainly within Russia’s modus operandi and focus at this time.”
Meanwhile, Cybersecurity expert Fox-IT says there’s a concrete threat of malicious parties that have been targeting companies in the energy sector due to the ongoing global energy crisis. “Particularly in the supply chain for the supply and distribution of LNG. The parties interested in this sector are probably state-sponsored malicious groups, for example, the groups led by the Russian FSB and GRU,” a spokesperson has said.
This is not the first time that Russia or its citizens have been accused of attacking the energy infrastructure of foreign nations. A couple of weeks ago, Norway's domestic security agency opened an investigation into new drone sightings near key infrastructure sites just hours after Bergen Airport, which is near Norway’s main naval base, briefly closed due to drone sightings.
“We believe (the drone flights are) carried out in a way that makes it difficult to find out who is really behind it,” deputy chief of the Norwegian Police Security Service Hedvig Moe told local media, although Norwegian authorities suspect Russian involvement in operating unmanned aerial vehicles.
“The drones can be used for espionage or simply to create fear. Russia simply has more to gain and less to lose by conducting intelligence activities in Norway now compared to the situation before the war,” he added.
Seven Russian citizens have been detained over the past few weeks for flying drones or taking photographs of sensitive sites in Norway.
By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com
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