The oil and gas industry has found itself in the crosshairs of hacker activist group Anonymous, which recently announced plans to launch cyber attacks on countries involved in the global oil trade.
Dubbed Operation Petrol, the attacks are scheduled to take place June 20 according to The Hill and will focus on countries including the United States, Canada, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia.
"It has been a long time coming," the group said in a video posted on YouTube, singling out Saudi Arabia as having "betrayed Muslims" by trading oil in U.S. dollars.
The announcement by Anonymous comes as inquiries into potential oil price manipulation by companies such as BP, Shell and Statoil intensify. This week, investigators with the European Commission continued to delve into the trading activities of those companies after authorities raided their offices last week.
"Due to the recent negative press regarding alleged price fixing, it is assumed that BP, Royal Dutch Shell and the price-reporting agency Platts, will be at the top of the target list," U.K.-based cyber-security company CyByl told Platts.
The oil and gas sectors are no strangers to cyber attacks. Last December, Saudi Aramco – Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil company – revealed it had been the victim of an August 2012 cyber attack that affected tens of thousands of the company's computers.