The cyber operation nicknamed Energetic Bear is the latest example of an ongoing battle between all-seeing American and British cyber spies on one side — and intellectual-property-stealing hackers in China and Russia on the other.
The report by Symantec (SYMC, Tech30) described how hackers have sneaked malware into computers at power plants, energy grid operators, gas pipeline companies and industrial equipment makers. Most of the targets were in the United States and Spain. The rest were across Europe.
The malware was used to steal documents, usernames and passwords. In the best-case scenario, the hackers only took valuable and sensitive information. At worst, they gained the ability to hijack controls — and even sabotage the nation’s energy supply.