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Saudi Aramco Reveals Cyber Attack Hit 30,000 Workstations 65

Posted by timothy
from the running-windows-for-workstations-I-guess dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest oil producer, has resumed operating its main internal computer networks after a virus infected about 30,000 of its workstations in mid-August. The group, calling itself the 'Cutting Sword of Justice,' claimed to have hacked Aramco systems in several countries before sending a virus across 30,000 computers, achieving a 75 percent infection rate of all the company's systems. It refuted suggestions that a nation state was behind the attack."
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Saudi Aramco Reveals Cyber Attack Hit 30,000 Workstations

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  • android? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27, 2012 @05:15AM (#41135005)

    am I missing something, why is this story tagged Android?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I guess they know the /. audience really well. They should have tagged it "android raspberry-pi 3dprinted bitcoin" if they really wanted people to see this story.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Everyone is so used to reading about Malware on Android that it was an easy mistake to make.

    • by Mathinker (909784)

      What? You missed the conspiracy theory site which claims that Cutting Sword of Justice is actually an organization of self-aware androids?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      sad just sad

  • by Anonymous Coward

    magic 8 ball ran out of excuses why gas prices went up. Had to invent some new excuses.

    • What? They were making up excuses...I though they had dropped that because they figured out that gas needs to be bought anyway.
  • Nobody said Saudi was Norway :p

    Infact the fact that Norway did NOT turn out just either the Gulf (uber rich crazy) or Nigeria (uber rich corrupt) is a miracle that can be laid at the hands of... an Iraqi.

    I suggest everybody read this [1] FT article. Psst Canadians, (especially Albertans) you might want to pay special attention.

    Don't worry though, the King will dole out yet another "bonus" just like last time, when the Arab spring was at it's height.

    (For the curious, I *have* lived in Saudi, and man it's wei

    • It is heaven if you want to get fat and want no distractions(like fun things to do) to get in your way.... They take junk food to new heights.
      • No wonder Doctors are so much in demand in the gulf; they are getting so fat that they are getting diabetic!

        I have seen kids who were wider than they were tall. And this is not one or two kids, this was a surprising high number (though thankfully not the majority...yet).

        I know people say Americans are fat, and they might be, but you need to go to the gulf to see it it's full awful glory. Qatar is especially hit bad (I think in a recent ranking it came number one)

        I know people say ""just you wait when the oi

        • by daem0n1x (748565)

          I genuinely fear for their lives, they are amorphous blob of flesh with NO skills. Things will be bad for them when oil money is not their to grease their slide.

          No problem, by then they'll already own all American and European banks and corporations. No skills needed.

      • Also, it's a good place to live if you enjoy beating your wife every once in a while.

    • by AvitarX (172628)

      There's no way that an existing functional government was the cause.

      • My point was these "Cutting Sword of Justice" felt like one of those "Distribute the oil wealth"! sort of groups, and I was telling *them* that there is only one country who has successfully managed to attain equality despite having oil, and that's Norway. *ALL* others have failed by one degree or another (so don't expect Saudi to act as norway blah blah)

        And then I went on to a ramble about how Norway attained this.

        Funnily it has modded (Score:2, Troll) I could understand Offtopic, but troll? weird... (mayb

  • by arcite (661011) on Monday August 27, 2012 @05:20AM (#41135027)
    Memo to Staff: Cut back on the Pron.
    • In Saudi Arabia? While I am sure there is porn available there - a great deal of porn - it isn't out in the open. Certainly not something to get caught with at work. Forget about being fired, they'll send you for lashing and a few years in jail just for looking at it.
    • by mjwx (966435)

      Memo to Staff:
      Cut back on the Pron.

      Addendum to memo,

      Burka bitches 17 can be found on J drive.

  • It's been the same for many years, you use windows it's just a matter of time. Most companies cover up these incidents for the good of the share price.

    Having said this company appears to have one big armadillo network that was wide open to this attack. They want to get some decent IT people in and let them do their jobs.

    • And if the company used all Linux workstations, they would have coded up something that ran on that.
      • by Johnny O (22313)

        In theory...

        In Theory, Communism is good too!

        In theory...

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          The difference between theory and practice is that in theory they're the same, and in practice they're not.
        • by Shavano (2541114)

          In theory...

          In Theory, Communism is good too!

          In theory...

          In fact. Linux is plenty vulnerable to a targeted attack.

          • by 1s44c (552956)

            In fact. Linux is plenty vulnerable to a targeted attack.

            That's nonsense. Although Linux is far from perfect windows is hacked together and goes though major changes every few years. I've seen cascade windows failures on huge scales and can tell you that incidents like this one are really fairly common. Multinationals put one hell of a lot of effort into covering these things up because it looks bad on the company. Don't take my word for it, find a windows administrator for any multinational and talk to them.

            But like I said twice before they should have split the

          • by Johnny O (22313)

            another theory.

      • by 1s44c (552956)

        And if the company used all Linux workstations, they would have coded up something that ran on that.

        Maybe but if you start with a good design it's harder to abuse. Don't try to tell me windows which has a radical redesign every few years is anywhere near as solid as unix.

        But the lack of network segregation was a major factor in this.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Whats 30000 Windows in Unix server skill terms?
      Like 1 server?
      • by 1s44c (552956)

        Whats 30000 Windows in Unix server skill terms?

        Like 1 server?

        That doesn't even make sense.

        Are you saying it takes 3000 Windows servers to do the work of 1 Unix server? Although Windows sucks it's not that bad.
        Or are you saying the same number of people could support 30000 Windows servers or 1 Unix server? That makes even less sense.

  • "Viruses spread very good in a not correctly administrated network of Microsoft Windows machines" ... News at 11

    AND WHO THE FUCK IS STILL CREATING WEBSITES WHICH DISABLE THE CONTEXTMENU?!

  • In all seriousness (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zero.kalvin (1231372) on Monday August 27, 2012 @05:50AM (#41135113)
    I would rather Saudis get hacked than Iranians. For someone who grew up in the Middle east, Saudi Arabia is much much dangerous than Iran ( regardless of political inclinations ).
    • I think you've missed about ten years of history.

      • And I think you missed those Saudi backed Salafist Jihadist ranking foul of that region for a long time. The most dangerous thing in that region is not an Iranian bomb, it is Saudi money.
        • I'm terribly sorry to have to inform you of this, but that money just won't kill a million people nearly as rapidly as a bomb. I'm not excusing accumulated deaths over time, mind you, just noting that the instantaneous effect of massive population reduction in a matter of minutes has a somewhat more "oh shit" factor associated with it. This falls into the category of "slow drip versus epic flood" in terms of catastrophic consequences.

          • by zero.kalvin (1231372) on Monday August 27, 2012 @06:39AM (#41135231)
            You have three unsupported assumption: 1) That the Iranian are actively building one ( I think they might be, but no proof on that. However, they might want one but this is a different issue ) 2) That they will use it 3) Iran is not a rational player( goes hand in hand with 2) ) Iranian actions since 1979 are reactionary actions ( they are scared from being invaded by the US ), an Iranian bomb would serve the role as an invasion inhibitory weapon. However, if you are going to quote Iranian officials saying that they will erase Israel from the map, you'd be a fool if you do not place it as verbal showcasing intended as something to gather support from Arabic populations. The matter of fact is on the long run Saudi Arabia has been the prime motivator and money supplier of every salafi/Wahabi Jihadist in the world. Yet we turn an eye on their actions because they are our allies ( I wonder why! --wink wink oil--). Iran and Saudi Arabia are both terrorist loving countries, both are bad. It is just that one is much more effective at what they do. And I would love nothing than see a regime change in both of these countries. I guess in the end we are both agreeing to how bad these two countries are, just differing on who is worse. I think in parallel to imposing sanctions on Iran, Saudi Arabia should get its own version of Oil embargo.
            • by Atryn (528846)

              if you are going to quote Iranian officials saying that they will erase Israel from the map, you'd be a fool if you do not place it as verbal showcasing intended as something to gather support from Arabic populations.

              Well, that is another mass stereotyping of "Arabic populations"... But the mere fact that this is perceived as a viable strategy across such a large population (calling for the violent annihilation of another population) kinda makes me lean towards none of "them" having a bomb.

              • by cusco (717999)
                FYI, the idiom 'wipe them [the Israeli people] off the map' doesn't even exist in Farsi. The phrase was gratuitously inserted into the speech by a "news" and translation web site called 'Memri', which was founded by a group of retired Israeli intel operatives. Since they work for cheap-to-free and very quickly the translation was picked up by the English-language wire services. The more accurate translations by the Iranian government and al Jazeera used something like Israel [the country] would "be remov
            • by Candyban (723804)

              unsupported assumption:

              Iran and Saudi Arabia are both terrorist loving countries, both are bad

              Being good or bad depends on your point of view as is the term "terrorist".
              Without taking sides, it is quite normal that people will react to what they perceive as injustice.

              I would love nothing than see a regime change in both of these countries

              Why? The Saudis are already giving up their oil without much of a fuss in exchange for paper and some fictional number in a database. Why do you want to interfere in the way they live their lives except for your ease of mind? If you do not want Saudi or Iran to have that much "money", then just stop buying petrol from the crooks in pow

              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                What gives you the authority, either morally or legally to "impose" sanctions on another population?

                Same as always: might. But the first and second world are currently engaged in an effort to use up the natural resources of the third world so that they can be top dogs in the oil end game.

              • MAD works when you're dealing with sane opponents. I'm not sure Abinajinajihadinbi or whatever his name is, qualifies on that front. When your opponent thinks death brings him an automatic ticket to heaven and 70 virgins, you can't guarantee that they don't want to be destroyed...

          • by jpapon (1877296)

            I'm terribly sorry to have to inform you of this, but that money just won't kill a million people nearly as rapidly as a bomb.

            That depends. If I buy a bomb with that money, then it will kill people as rapidly as a bomb.

            Now if I buy TWO bombs... well..

      • by Hatta (162192)

        I think you've drunk the war monger kool-aid. Didn't you learn your lesson with Iraq? Our government will blatantly lie to create the appearance of a threat in order to justify a war of aggression. Don't be afraid of Iran, be afraid of the war mongers in the US government.

    • I think they are more dangerous *because* of political inclinations. They can easily get away with almost anything because they are so rich, well-connected and essential for the operation of a global oil-fueled economy.
    • by mapkinase (958129)

      Dangerous to what?

  • Just because a supposedly headless stateless group claims to be responsible for something doesn't mean they weren't acting as a cover for a nation state.
    • Just because a supposedly headless stateless group claims to be responsible for something doesn't mean they weren't acting as a cover for a nation state.

      Just because a supposedly headless stateless group claims to be responsible does not mean they actually have got anything to do with it. It would not be the first time somebody claim the they did something to get some PR...

  • How did the group refute suggestions that a nation state was behind the attack? Did it open it's books, and declare it's sponsors?
    Or did it just deny that a nation state was behind the attack? In which case it failed to refute anything - it merely disputed something.

    It must be a grammar-nazi Tuesday or something.

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