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FBI Says 5 Energy Companies Targeted In Russian Scanning Activity

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a warning to the U.S. energy industry that it had detected scanning activity from multiple Russia-based IP addresses.

“These Russia-based IP addresses are believed to be associated with cyber actors who previously conducted destructive cyber activity against foreign critical infrastructure,” the warning read.

“Present activity of these IP addresses likely indicates early stages of reconnaissance, scanning networks for vulnerabilities for use in potential future intrusions. US Energy Sector entities are advised to examine current network traffic for these IP addresses and conduct follow-on investigations if observed.”

According to the FBI, a total of 140 addresses were involved in the detected scanning activity, which targeted at least five energy companies as well as businesses from other sectors such as defense, financial services, and information technology.

The warning comes on the heels of another one, made by President Biden, who said earlier this week that Russia was “exploring” a cyber attack against the United States but added that Washington would use every tool at its disposal to thwart it.

“My Administration will continue to use every tool to deter, disrupt, and if necessary, respond to cyberattacks against critical infrastructure,” the U.S. President said in a release published on the White House website.

“But the Federal Government can’t defend against this threat alone. Most of America’s critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector and critical infrastructure owners and operators must accelerate efforts to lock their digital doors.”

Cyberattacks are becoming a serious problem for businesses, and critical infrastructure is a top target. Last year, cybercriminals shut down the Colonial pipeline that carries 45 percent of the gasoline and diesel fuel the East Coast of the United States consumes. It is also the biggest piece of pipeline infrastructure in the United States. The attack highlighted the importance of protecting such critical infrastructure in an environment where cyber criminals become increasingly bolder.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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