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Shamoon Virus that Attacked Saudi Aramco is the Most Dangerous to Date

By Charles Kennedy | Sun, 14 October 2012 00:00 | 4

In an attempt to attract investment and support for his plan to upgrade and improve the cyber defences of the US, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta addressed business leaders in New York, counting them a tale about the latest cyber-attack on Saudi Aramco.

He described the infiltration of Shamoon virus, past Saudi Aramco’s high tech security systems and firewalls, and into its computers.

Panetta claimed that the virus was the most sophisticated attack ever seen in the business sector, and that on the same day it also struck Rasgas, Qatar’s natural gas firm.

Related Article: The Devastating Effects of a Cyber-Attack Against a Country's Energy Grid

He explained that the virus contains a program which is called a ‘wiper’, which is coded to automatically replace crucial system files with images of a burning US flag, and overwrite all real data and files with nonsense data.

“More than 30,000 computers that it infected (at ARAMCO) were rendered useless, and had to be replaced,” he told the startled executives, “imagine the impact an attack like this would have on your company.”

A strong case, but will the business leaders take note?

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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  • r.eluchans on January 22 2013 said:
    wrong. the capabilities are not in those countries. They have the money to pay "cyber piret criminals" They may be from UK, USA, wherever....and they just after the money.
  • Duane on October 15 2012 said:
    so like .... who spread STUXNET and those other STATE created viruses? What did "they" EXPECT when they turned those loose?
  • Philip on October 15 2012 said:
    I always thought there would be a payback for Stuxnet.

    Its about time the West esp. the US and Israel got of their high horses of 'exceptionality' and realised that Asia (Russia, China and Iran) are just as capable of developing cyber nasties as the West is. The playing field is levelling. The West should take note and adjust its attitude accordingly.
  • Anon on October 15 2012 said:
    Well sounds like a virus designed by the CIA or Mossad to me. Funny how right when these traitors need some more money to upgrade a certain sector that same sector is attacked just days prior to our pitch for money.

    Whats sad is imagine going around your town and starting fires to get more money for the Fire Dept well thats our Government in action.

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