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DHS Warns Of Cyberattack On Natural Gas Pipeline Companies

Cybercampaign against multiple U.S. utility companies began four months ago, agency says
U.S. natural gas pipeline companies have been under cyberattack for the past four months, according to alerts issued to the utilities industry by the Department of Homeland Security.

DHS has sent out several alerts warning of a "gas pipeline sector cyber intrusion campaign" against multiple pipeline companies, which began earlier this year and is still under way, the agency says.

The alerts were confirmed by an "incident response" report from the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) late on Friday.

"ICS-CERT has recently identified an active series of cyber intrusions targeting natural gas pipeline sector companies," the report warns. "Multiple natural gas pipeline organizations have reported either attempts or intrusions related to this campaign. The campaign appears to have started in late December 2011 and is active today."

ICS-CERT said its "analysis of the malware and artifacts associated with these cyber attacks has positively identified this activity as related to a single campaign from a single source." The attacks are characterized by a sophisticated spear-phishing campaign.

The full text of the DHS reports was not made public, but sources who had seen the reports told news organizations that they contained an unusual amount of detail and a request that security teams not try to block the attacks so that intelligence professionals could study them more closely.

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