Saudi Aramco Under Repeated Attack

In 2017, Saudi Arabian security officials said that the country was one of the targets in a wide-ranging cyber spying campaign against five Middle East nations and countries outside the region.

Right now, the giant Saudi oil business says it is experiencing a sharp increase in persistent cyber attacks over the last three months, which the company has successfully foiled so far. 

Aramco, which pumps 10% of global oil supply, experienced its first  cyber-attack in 2012 when the notorious Shamoon virus attack disabled around 30,000 computers across the corporation aimed at stopping oil and gas production at the biggest OPEC exporter. 

CSO at the oil giant Khalid Al Harbi told Reuters "Overall there is definitely an increase in the attempts of attacks and we are very successful in preventing these attacks at the earliest stage possible.... The pattern of the attacks is cyclical and we are seeing that the magnitude is increasing. I would suspect that this will continue to be a trend." 

Harbi is also said there had also been attempts to infiltrate Aramco using powerful Emotet malware used globally, but that it was successfully prevented.

Aramco's facilities came under physical attack by drone and missile strikes in September  that temporarily shut down 5.7 million barrels a day of output, or more than 5 per cent of global oil supply.The US blamed Iran for the attack, which Tehran denies. Mr Harbi said that identifying the source of the cyber-attacks was the most difficult aspect of cyber security.

Saudi Aramco is the one producer of crude oil by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia contributes approximately 13% of global crude production, being second only to the US and level with Russia is considered highly vulnerable to both regional and geostrategic tensions.


The National AE:       Economic Times:          ForexLive

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