Oil companies hit by cyber attacks
FBI says three major U.S. oil producers got hacked. This time it's IT networks, but could manufacturing be a next step?
Recently the FBI told three U.S. oil companies that they'd been hacked. Marathon, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips had their IT systems violated and proprietary information was being siphoned out. Some apparently was going to China. Most of the information involved exploration and oil discovery efforts.
The Christian Science Monitor goes into more detail on the story, including descriptions of the "phishing" and "spear phishing" techniques the infiltrators used to gain access. It also says that the companies didn't understand the depth of the attacks until the FBI filled them in.
While the hackers seemed to stay in what we would consider to be IT networks, those places can be the jumping-off point for attacks on SCADA and plant control systems. Moving into the next part of the network is much easier when the hackers are working from an established beach head. This also reminds us why it is so important to have appropriate barriers installed at all the points where manufacturing and IT systems interface.
-Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com
Control Engineering Process & Advanced Control Monthly eNewsletter
Register here to select your choice of free eNewsletters .
Case Study Database
Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.
These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.
Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.
Annual Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.