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Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com hit by hackers from China?

By John Donovan

We have published articles from time to time reporting apparent denial of service attacks on this website e.g.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc.com website under cyber attack (17 December 2010)

A few days ago, on 6 February, we published an article under the headline…

Overnight ‘crippling load’ on Royal Dutch Shell plc.com website

We stated :

“As regular visitors will be aware, this website, which is operated on a dedicated high traffic server hosted in the USA,  is being brought down on a regular basis.”

Apparent cyber attacks on this website have occurred many times  over the past few years. Shell has categorically denied any involvement.

We mentioned in the recent article…

“There is also a possibility that it is a case of mistaken identity. It is the only Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com website in existence and some activists in a foreign land corrupted, polluted and plundered by Shell, may think that this is the official Royal Dutch Shell Plc website and wrongly believe they are attacking Shell. That would be ironic.”

We now have to add another possibility to the possibility of mistaken identity.

The Wall Street Journal has published an article today under the headline: “Oil Firms Hit by Hackers From China, Report Says

Extracts:

Hackers who appear to be based in China have conducted a “coordinated, covert and targeted” campaign of cyber espionage against major Western energy firms, according to a report expected to be issued Thursday by cybersecurity firm McAfee Inc.

Law-enforcement agencies said they are investigating the incidents, which McAfee said have been going on at least since late 2009…

“Asked if they were victims of the hacking, BP PLC and ExxonMobil Inc., among other large oil companies, declined to comment…”

Extracts End

We have also previously revealed that many business proposals are sent to us by Chinese companies in the erronious belief that the site is the official Royal Dutch Shell Plc website. We even published a notice on this website in Chinese, hoping to stop, or at least stem the flow of proposals meant for Shell.

Communications fiasco for Royal Dutch Shell (1 December 2010)

It seems that we may have to place a permanent notice on the site in Chinese because of the unforseen downside of being mistaken for Shell.

We called in the UK police some time ago and may contact them again. Or it might be appropriate to notify the FBI given the geograpical location of the server, which has been upgraded many times in an effort to cater for the high traffic, over 2 million hits per month.

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