Oil and gas firms have been urged to be vigilant to security attacks as OpPetrol – a new campaign from Anonymous aimed at the oil and gas sectors – begins.
The hackers' statement in May warned that from 20 June attacks would begin in order to protest the West's domination of the world's resources.
"Why this Op? Because petrol is sold with the dollar and Saudi Arabia has betrayed Muslims with their co-operation. So why isn't petrol sold with the currency of the country which exports it," read the statement.
The hackers pledged to mount a variety of cyber attacks against companies involved in the industry. These included promises to hit firms with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, deface their social media accounts and websites, steal sensitive information from their systems and post it online and sabotage their operations by doing things like infecting their networks with disk-wiping malware.
The campaign will mainly target companies in the UK, USA, Canada, Israel, China, Italy, France, Russia and Germany. The operation also plans to mount more targeted attacks against Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar government departments involved in oil and gas.
Symantec issued a warning on Thursday for companies to be extra vigilant as the campaign starts.
"Symantec advises organisations to be prepared for attacks in the coming days. Organisations should monitor for unusual activities in their networks, particularly any attempts to breach the perimeters," said the statement.
"Staff members should be specifically trained on social engineering mitigation tactics along with regular security awareness training. As always, we continue to stress the importance implementing a multi-layered approach to defense."
OpPetrol's announcement follows widespread warnings that the threat facing critical infrastructure firm's is growing. Most recently ex-FBI agent and current Kroll Cyber Investigations managing director, Timothy Ryan told V3 businesses need to improve threat alert systems to deal with the next wave of state and lone-wolf data-destroyer hackers.