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  • Europe may be left without gas due to Russian hackers


    Security company Dragos, which specializes in the protection of industrial companies, has discovered that 2 hacker groups, Xenotime and Kamacite, are conducting "analysis of digital systems" of the Gasunie LNG terminal in Rotterdam (Netherlands). These groups are believed to be linked to Russia.

    The hackers are also expected to analyze the systems of other European LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminals and infrastructure in the energy sector to see where they could potentially affect systems.

    Other security companies are also seeing an increase in critical infrastructure activity in Europe and the Netherlands. According to the Dutch information security company EclecticIQ, the Xenotime group is focusing on Europe for the first time - "Dutch LNG terminals are currently the preferred target of research by Russian hackers."

    According to the information security company ESET, from January to September 2022, on average, there are more than 5 million unique cyber attacks per month. This is more than 20% more than in 2021. This includes phishing attacks, attacks using ransomware or other types of malware, and DDoS attacks.

    Due to the energy crisis, companies operating in the energy sector are a prime target for cybercriminals, according to Fox-IT. Especially in the LNG supply and distribution chain. “LNG is important for the Netherlands now, as Russian gas supplies have been suspended. If these terminals stop for any reason, gas production capacity will be lost,” says René Peters, director of gas technology at TNO.

    The Eemshaven LNG terminal in the Netherlands is currently producing 8 billion cubic meters per year. In addition, gas production in Rotterdam will be increased to 16 billion cubic meters per year. Together, they account for more than 50% of the Dutch gas consumption of 40 billion cubic meters per year.

    The Dutch gas transmission company Gasunie did not specify whether it is aware of hackers who are looking for vulnerabilities in the company's networks. The firm also did not say whether it has tightened the measures. The LNG industry has already been subjected to cyberattacks in the past.

    On June 8, 2022, Freeport LNG, a major US LNG exporter, exploded in Texas. The resulting damage suspended the factory until the end of 2022. The explosion had a direct impact on the increase in gas prices in Europe.

    Several sources found the failure of the security systems to work and attributed this cause to the XENOTIME attack.

    Author DeepWeb
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