Saudi Aramco’s internal computer networks restored after a malware affected 30,000 of its workstations

28 Aug, 2012

Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, said on Sunday that the company was back in operating 30,000 workstations after a malware attack put put to hold these workstations at the company.

In a statement on the company’s Facebook page , Aramco said that it had “restored all its main internal network services” that were affected by a malware outbreak on August 15.

The attacks were attributed to “external sources.” Aramco said that its core business which is extracting oil from the ground and refining it.

unknown group calling itself the “Cutting Sword of Justice.” claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on Pastebin, a publishing platform often used by anonymous hacktivist group.

The group said that Aramco was attacked in retaliation against the Al-Saud regime for the “crimes and atrocities taking place in various countries around the world, especially in the neighboring countries such as Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Lebanon (and) Egypt..”

The “anti-oppression hacker group” said it hacked Aramco using compromised systems in “several countries,” then sent a malicious program to destroy 30,000 systems within Aramco’s network.

It also added “This is a warning to the tyrants of this country and other countries that support such criminal disasters with injustice and oppression. We invite all anti-tyranny hacker groups all over the world to join this movement. We want them to support this movement by designing and performing such operations, if they are against tyranny and oppression.”

Attacks against energy producing firms are not new, there were attacks against Iran’s oil refineries, the US Department of Homeland Security warned in May about ongoing cyber attacks aimed at firms operating natural gas pipelines within the United States.

Iran;s nuclear reactors were a target of a virus launched by the US and Israeli spy agencies to possible production of nuclear bombs.

If this attack was truly targeted by “Cutting Sword of Justice.” group it would signal the beginning of politically hacktivist group targeting political energy companies or certain nations infrastructure.

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