Hackers Attack Servers of Oil Companies Working in Arctic

July 16, 2012 — 23:00
July 16, 2012 — 23:00
A screenshot of the release by hacker group Anonymous

Hacker group Anonymous said it had successfully hacked into the servers of five oil and gas companies operating in the Arctic, including Gazprom and Rosneft, posting hundreds of company email addresses and passwords online.

In a statement posted on the website Pastebin.com, the group said it had acted in support of environmental organization Greenpeace and that organization's drive to cease oil and gas drilling on the Arctic shelf. The group emphasized that it did not work in concert with Greenpeace, but only in its support.

The apparent author of the statement, who identified himself only as Twitter user @le4ky, said arctic drilling leads to the melting of polar ice caps and increases the risk of oil pollution in ocean waters. He said accidental spills are more likely than at a conventional offshore production site because of the climate and the risk of icebergs hitting a rig.

The companies affected by the hack included Shell, BP Global, ExxonMobil, Gazprom and Rosneft, according to the statement. The hackers released the information of 190 accounts from Gazprom and 80 from Rosneft, and database access details were also made available. The hackers said the information wasn't accessed through a software vulnerability but rather through a mistake by the webmaster.

Anonymous said that "Phase I" of its project last month used hacked accounts to sign a petition to save the Arctic. The group released 300 email addresses and passwords from Exxon on June 26, some of which it said were subsequently used in so-called phishing attacks — meaning the defrauding of an online account holder's financial information — prompting the group to release less information this time.

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