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$50 Million Crypto Ransom Demand For Leaked Saudi Aramco Data

Saudi Aramco’s data leak is the subject of a ransom demand of $50 million in cryptocurrency, The Associated Press reports, adding that the Saudi oil giant told AP the leak came from one of the company’s contractors.

The world’s largest oil firm told The Associated Press that it “recently became aware of the indirect release of a limited amount of company data which was held by third-party contractors.”

Earlier this week, BleepingComputer reported that Saudi Aramco had suffered a data breach in which cyber attackers had stolen 1 terabyte of proprietary data of Saudi Arabia’s oil giant and are selling it on the dark web.

The oil giant confirmed to BleepingComputer that the data breach, which the hackers say was made last year, has had no impact on Saudi Aramco’s operations. The Kingdom’s state oil firm also said that the data breach was at third-party contractors, not on Aramco’s systems.  

The threat group, identified as ZeroX, is offering for sale on the darknet the data it claims to have gained by hacking Aramco’s “network and its servers” at some point last year.

Now, a page the Associated Press accessed on the dark web is offering to delete the leaked data in exchange for $50 million in cryptocurrency. 

The data up for sale at a starting negotiable price of $5 million includes documents pertaining to Saudi Aramco refineries, personal information about more than 14,000 employees, project specifications for systems, pricing sheets and internal analyses, as well as security-related information including IP addresses, Wi-Fi access points, and IoT devices, ZeroX told BleepingComputer this week.

Saudi Aramco has been the victim of cybercrimes in the past, the most notorious being the 2012 Shamoon malware that was used in a crippling attack that wiped out every computer at the Saudi oil firm. In 2018, a variant of the Shamoon malware resurfaced, cybersecurity experts warned at the time. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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