The Complex

Were last year’s cyber attacks on Saudi Aramco worse than reported?

A U.S. official dropped a very interesting quote on Killer Apps the other day. As we discussed the growing trend of destructive cyber attacks, the strikes against Middle Eastern oil firms Saudi Aramco (its HQ is shown above) and Rasgas of Qatar that rendered about 30,000 computers useless last August came up. The official then ...

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

A U.S. official dropped a very interesting quote on Killer Apps the other day.

As we discussed the growing trend of destructive cyber attacks, the strikes against Middle Eastern oil firms Saudi Aramco (its HQ is shown above) and Rasgas of Qatar that rendered about 30,000 computers useless last August came up.

The official then mentioned that these attacks may have been more damaging than reported.

"I was just in Saudi a while ago and found that the attacks were probably worse than we originally had believed, from talking to some of the folks there," said the official.

And that’s it. He wouldn’t elaborate when asked for more details.

Last August’s Middle East cyber attacks were apparently conducted by a supposedly independent hacktivist group." However, the U.S. government has implied that it thinks Iran sponsored the attacks and some experts think the attack was retaliation against several cyber espionage tools like Flame that were spying on Iranian computers. 

The August attacks, using a virus called Shamoon, wiped the hard drive of the Saudi computers and left thousands of Aramco employees unable to access email and kept them off company networks for a week or more. 

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