Created:
12/14/2012 10:08:24 AM

Author:
Przemek Radzikowski

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Cyberwarfare and Hacktivism in the Middle East

Multi-billion dollar Oil & Gas companies are being targeted by a new generation of intelligent and destructive computer viruses that are capable of collecting sensitive information and are capable of destroying entire computer ecosystems. On August 15, Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest Oil & Gas producer based in Saudi Arabia, admitted that it was targeted by a group of hackers which managed to infect some 30,000 personal computers and possibly stole proprietary information.


 

 

Who’s Behind the Attacks

There are mixed reports of whether the group behind the cyber-attack is the Arab Youth Group or the Cutting Sward of Justice, both of which have been linked to regional activist organizations. Reports are still sketchy and although Saudi Aramco CEO, Khalid A. Al-Falih, said that the company reacted quickly to isolate and contain the infection, it is still unclear how much damage was sustained or what data was stolen.

Shamoon, the malware (malicious software) responsible for the attack on the organization, represents what some would call the first widely publicized example of hacktivism.  Hacker groups such as Anonymous[1] and LulzSec[2] have typically targeted known Web application vulnerabilities or used distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.  “This is the first significant use of malware in a hacktivist attack,” said Imperva’s Rob Rachwald, director of security strategy.

Interestingly, instead of staying under the radar and collecting information, the malware was designed to overwrite and wipe the files and the Master-Boot Record of the computers — rendering them useless.

Despite the fact that it is rare to find this type of malware in targeted attacks, Kaspersky Lab suggest that this is the same behavior of the wipe malware found attacking machines in Iran which were infected with another unknown malware that eventually led Kaspersky to discover the Flame virus.

Read more at original article: Cyberwarfare and Hacktivism in the Middle East

 

 

permalink [Permalink] - Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013





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