For years, companies in the oil and energy industry have been the victims of hackers attempting to steal email and other sensitive information, McAfee said on Wednesday.
The attacks, dubbed 'Night Dragon' by McAfee, penetrated company networks through web servers, compromised desktop computers, bypassed safeguards by misusing administrative credentials, and used remote administration tools to obtain the information, the security firm said. McAfee and other security companies have now identified the method and can provide a defence.
"Well co-ordinated, targeted attacks such as Night Dragon, orchestrated by a growing group of malicious attackers committed to their targets, are rapidly on the rise. These targets have now moved beyond the defence industrial base, government and military computers to include global corporate and commercial targets," McAfee said in a white paper (PDF) published on Thursday.
For more on this story, read McAfee: data-theft attack hits oil industry on CNET News.