The oil industry experienced previously undisclosed Aurora-style cyber attacks in 2008 according to an article on the Christian Science Monitor website. Three US-based oil companies, Marathon Oil, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips were informed by the FBI in early 2009 of the attacks on their systems.
The attacks attempted to target ‘bid data’ which contains the location, quantity and value of oil discoveries. Some of the data that was accessed was downloaded to an IS address based in China.
Security personnel with one of the oil companies claimed that the breach of one of their documents was the result of a ‘China virus.’ The software used in the attacks appears to be custom made, rendering it virtually impervious to detection by standard anti-virus software.