Hacker Disabled Offshore Oil Platforms

Event Year: 2008 Reliability: Confirmed
Country: United States
Industry Type: Petroleum

A disgruntled employee, Mario Azar,  accessed the system that monitors the detection of pipeline leaks for three oil derrricks off the Southern California coast.  He knowingly temporarily disabled the system.  He faces a maximum 10 year sentence.

The FBI announced that, on September 14, 2009, Mario Azar pleaded guilty to intentionally damaging a computer system used in interstate and foreign commerce and faced ten years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for December 7 in the United States District Court of Los Angeles.

Update 2May2011:  In April 2010, Mario Azar was sentenced to probation for 5 years.  In addition, he was ordered to pay a special assessment of $100,000 to the clerck.  Mr. Azar was also ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution and complete 200 hours of community service.


The leak detection system was shut-down for a period of time. There were no oil leaks from the derricks that are connected to the Southern California shore.