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August 27, 2012

Saudi Aramco restores network services after malware attack

The company's main internal networks were affected on 15 August 2012

By CBR Staff Writer

Saudi Aramco has resumed operating its main internal computer networks after a malicious virus infected about 30,000 of its workstations earlier in August 2012.

The company’s main internal networks were affected on 15 August 2012 and the computers have now been cleaned and restored to service.

Saudi Aramco’s production plants and primary enterprise systems of hydrocarbon exploration and production were unaffected as they operate on isolated network systems.

The company also said its exports, sales, distribution operations, and financial and human resources systems, and databases are unaffected by the attack.

Saudi Aramco president and CEO Khalid Al-Falih said that the company’s precautionary procedures, which have been in place to counter such threats, and its multiple protective systems, have helped to mitigate the deplorable cyber threats from spiraling.

"Saudi Aramco is not the only company that became a target for such attempts, and this was not the first nor will it be the last illegal attempt to intrude into our systems, and we will ensure that we will further reinforce our systems with all available means to protect against a recurrence of this type of cyber-attack," Al-Falih said.

In May 2102, security researchers have uncovered a massive cyber attack that is attempting to steal data from Middle Eastern countries and has been operating undetected for up to two years.

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The malware, nicknamed Flame, is said to be targeting countries across the Middle East and Africa including Iran, Israel, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

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