Cyberattacks pose serious threat to Canada’s automated resource firms – by Dan Healing (Globe and Mail – November 26, 2017)

CANADIAN PRESS: Data theft from high-profile hacks against companies like Uber and Equifax can cost consumers thousands of dollars but resource companies worry about millions in damage, along with potential injuries and death, if their technology is compromised.

The thought of a multi-tonne piece of equipment running amok or shutting down at a critical time in the resource gathering process is a nightmare scenario for chief information and security officers in the oilpatch and other resource-rich regions of Canada.

Cybercriminals are betting the company whose gear no longer obeys instructions would be willing to pay dearly to avoid such a situation.

“It’s no longer a bunch a pimple-faced kids in mommy and daddy’s basement — it’s organized crime,” said Daniel Tobok, CEO and co-owner of Toronto-based Cytelligence, who says his company investigates 40 data breach attacks on private Canadian companies every month, often tracing the attacks to foreign hackers.

“It’s theft of intellectual property, it’s espionage, but it all comes down to money as a motivation.” He estimates the attacks cost Canada $3 billion to $5 billion per year in proceeds to criminals, adding one Calgary energy company was forced to pay $200,000 in ransom three years ago to regain control of its corrupted digital production systems.

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