A Canadian spy agency says the nation’s energy firms are at high risk from espionage and terrorism.
According to newspaper reports, a classified document from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) warns the sector has become a global target for both cyber and real-world attacks.
It suggests companies involved in financial transactions with foreign states ‘should expect to be hit’ by computer hacking as the other parties search for secret investment and takeover information.
The CSIS said past evidence of such behavior has previously been discovered.
It also warns of direct attacks on energy infrastructure such as fuel storage and shipment facilities, power pylons and oil pipelines, potentially using bombs.
There is already fierce opposition to the presence of pipelines stretching across Canada, which is home to the world’s third largest oil reserves.
In 2016, five pipelines carrying oil to the US were disrupted by planned attacks from environmental protestors, suggesting that they are vulnerable to even relatively technically unskilled attacks.
Currently drones, helicopters, remote sensors and cameras are used as security measures but due to how remote and expansive the network is, it is often difficult to monitor and react accordingly.