US security firm Symantec have discovered a massive Malware attack has affected over 1,000 energy companies in North America and Europe.
The hacker is called Dragonfly, operating since 2011 and is thought to be based in Eastern Europe.
Symantec said that “their primary goal is espionage”, with targets including energy grid operators and industrial equipment providers.
Eighty four countries were affected, although most of the victims were located in the United States, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, and Poland.
Symantec said Dragonfly had accessed computers using a variety of techniques, including attaching malware to third-party programs, emails and websites, giving it “the capability to mount sabotage operations that could have disrupted energy supplies across a number of European countries”.
Symantec said Dragonfly “bears the hallmarks of a state-sponsored operation, displaying a high degree of technical capability”.