Cybersecurity

Did Iran hack the world's biggest oil company?

A Saudi Aramco oil refinery in 2004.

A Saudi Aramco oil refinery in 2004. // Hasan Jamali/AP

Saudi Aramco, the world's most valuable company, was recently hit by a nasty computer virus and the U.S. says Iran is to blame for it. According to a report by Nicole Perlroth in The New York Times, the attack (which happened in August) may have been one of "the most destructive acts of computer sabotage" ever unleashed on a corporation, erasing tens of thousands of corporate hard drives and forcing the company to shut down its email network.

Even though oil operations were not affected, the attack could have been the latest escalation in the ongoing cyber war between Iran and the U.S. and its allies. The virus, code named Shamoon, was likely based on the Flame virus that attacked Iranian oil companies for years. It's been assumed that the American and Israeli governments were behind both that virus and the Stuxnet worm that wreaked havoc on an Iranian nuclear facility two years ago. Now Iran is striking back, at foreign companies and banks, and—as is the nature with cyberwarfare—taking its enemies weapons and turning them back on their creators.

Read more at The Atlantic Wire

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion / Man-in-the-middle attack / Software vulnerability

Website of Popular Science Magazine Spiked with Malware

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// October 31
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