Even the best of security protection may not be enough in today’s environment where malware has become all pervasive. A case in point is that of Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company.
Saudi Aramco has reported a major security breach that has disrupted its network big time. This is in spite of the best of precautionary procedures and multiple redundant systems deployed by the company.
The malware succeeded in completely erasing many systems and severely crippled web and mail servers and also domain controllers. The company confirmed the breach and has as a precaution isolated its entire network of electronic systems from external access.
While the specifics of the attack are still awaited, what is clear is that the malware entered the system through personal computers, probably as a drive by download.
Saudi Aramco claims that the main components of the network are unaffected. While it is true that normal production activities have been disrupted, the company claims that normal service will resume soon without giving a specific date. With oil a sensitive commodity for the world economy, the implications of the breach are still unknown.
This attack on Saudi Aramco comes after a similar attack on Iranian facilities in April this year. That attack crashed the computer systems at the oil ministry and other related businesses. While who the perpetuators of the attack on Aramco are remains a mystery, the outbreak of Stuxnet, Flame, the Lebanese banking virus and now the Aramco virus makes the Middle East a hotbed of state sponsored cyber attackers these days.