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3 Feb, 2022 18:03

Cyberattacks reported by European energy companies

At least two Belgian companies have been hit by hackers in the latest alleged incident
Cyberattacks reported by European energy companies

Belgian authorities have opened investigations into alleged cyberattacks directed against at least two energy companies in the Belgian ports of Antwerp and Ghent. The case was opened just days after German officials said they were looking into a similar cybercrime.

Kristof Aerts of the Antwerp prosecutor’s office said that “an investigation by the Federal Computer Crime Unit has started,” as cited by the Associated Press. 

No specific details were provided as regards which companies were targeted or what damage was incurred, although the immediate impact appears limited. 

On Tuesday, German prosecutors revealed they have started an investigation into alleged extortion after two oil companies in Hamburg complained of being hit by a cyberattack. 

That attack, which reportedly disrupted some oil operations and tanker deliveries, affected Hamburg and at least six oil ports in Belgium and the Netherlands. According to AFP, the EU police agency Europol has offered support on the matter to the German authorities. 

A broker from Rotterdam-based firm Riverlake told AFP the hack had impacted software at several port terminals, barring them from processing barges correctly, so the vessels couldn’t be unloaded on time. 

Aerts didn’t directly link the incident concerning Belgian firms to the earlier reports, but noted that such cyberattacks are “naturally an international story, so that will certainly be looked at.”

“It is especially why the expertise of the Federal Computer Crime Unit is essential,” he added.