Just about every industry is a potential target for criminals or nation state cyber attacks. News reports generally only mention government, military, and critical infrastructure attacks but it seems hacking is becoming an increasing problem for Australian mining executives (emphasis added):
According to ABC News, Australian mining executives say they are becoming increasingly aware of hackers trying to gain access to their sensitive information and are now taking extra precautions when doing business with countries like China.
“Cyber security is impacting businesses right now,” said Queensland Resources Council CEO Michael Roche. “If you’re an Australian resource company CEO going into China, for example, you simply do not take any of your devices into China.”
However, Chinese hackers are not the only ones causing disruptions for the mining industry.
“We’ve had examples from people who have hacked in and held to ransom companies, [saying] if they want their database back, they’ve got to pay X amount of dollars and so forth,” said Simon Bennison, CEO of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies.
Currently, the likely culprits of mining company cyber attacks would be criminals, rather than nation states, trying to steal money. However, this could change in the blink of an eye in the future, especially if a nation believes a mining company to have valuable intellectual property.