Washington: State-sponsored Chinese hackers successfully breached 13 US natural gas pipeline operators from 2011 through 2013, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced on Tuesday.
“The US government identified and tracked 23 US natural gas pipeline operators targeted from 2011 to 2013 in this spearphishing and intrusion campaign,” CISA said in an advisory. “Thirteen were confirmed compromises, three were near misses, and eight had an unknown depth of intrusion.”
CISA said the US federal government had specifically attributed the attacks to state-sponsored forces backed by the Chinese government.
“The US government has attributed this activity to Chinese state-sponsored actors. CISA and the FBI assess that these actors were specifically targeting US pipeline infrastructure for the purpose of holding US pipeline infrastructure at risk,” the advisory said.
CISA and the FBI assessed that the attacks were ultimately intended to help China develop cyberattack capabilities against US pipelines to physically damage pipelines or disrupt pipeline operations, the advisory added.