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Saudi Arabia hit by virus

by on17 August 2012

Might have been intended for Iran

It is starting to look like cyber war is an untargetted weapon, as US allies Saudi Arabia have just been hit by malware which might have been aimed at Iran.

Saudi Arabia‚Äôs national oil company and the largest in the world, has confirmed that is has been hit by a cyber attack. Malware infected user workstations, but did not affect other parts of its network. The company isolated all its electronic systems from outside access as an early precautionary measure.

The company did not say who was behind the attack, but insists its core operations have not been impacted. But the attack appears similar to another at the National Iranian Oil Company back in April, when a virus was detected inside the control systems of Kharg Island oil terminal. The company ahd to take its systems offline too.

While it is possibly a coincidence, the likelihood that Israel and the US have been attacking Iranian infrastructure using malware makes it possible that the two incidents are connected. Iran earlier this month said it plans to move key ministries and state bodies off the public Internet to protect them from such attacks.

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