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The world cannot go without Saudi oil exports for more than two or three weeks, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman, said at a cybersecurity event in Riyadh.
The biggest threat to global energy security comes from cyberattacks, the minister said at the Global Cybersecurity Forum, as quoted by The Saudi Gazette.
“We are now recovering very quickly from cyber attacks, and it comes without prior warning or knowledge of their source,” Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman said.
Saudi Arabia and other energy producers need to be always cautious and not take security for granted, the energy minister of the world’s largest crude oil exporter said.
Cyberattacks are among the greatest risks Saudi Aramco faces these days, Amin Nasser, president and chief executive officer at the world’s biggest oil firm, said in September.
“Cyberattacks are one of the top risks we face at Aramco – on a par with natural disasters or physical attacks,” Nasser told the Global AI Summit 2022 in Riyadh.
“But while these attacks are growing in scale and severity, AI is helping fend off some of the threat. So our efforts should not only focus on greater efficiency or deeper customer insights, but also on security and resilience,” Saudi Aramco’s top executive added.
Aramco itself has been subject to several cyber attacks in recent years, the most notorious being the 2012 Shamoon malware 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. Last year, Aramco was targeted in a data leak that was the subject of a ransom demand of $50 million in cryptocurrency.
In a physical attack that halted half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production for days, Aramco facilities were hit by drone attacks claimed by the Houthi rebels in September 2019.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,