Saudi Aramco reels under curse of Shamoon virus?

Saudi Aramco, the world's eighth largest oil refiner, is still recovering after a targeted malware attack took down 30,000 workstations. In apparent retaliation for the alleged crimes of the Saudi government, a previously-unknown hacker group claimed responsibility.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder whether this is the curse of Shamoon.

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By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: TrapWire Kickstarter -- Donate to the CIA today!...

Jeremy Kirk raises concerns about Enterprise security:

The eighth largest refiner in the world said its...computers have now been "cleaned and restored to service." ... Enterprise systems used for hydrocarbon exploration and product are isolated [and] not affected. Production plants...were [also] not affected.

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A group calling itself the "Cutting Sword of Justice" claimed responsibility...accus[ing] the Saudi Arabian government of..."crimes and atrocities" in countries such as Syria and Egypt. ... Saudi Aramco said it expected further intrusions.  MORE

Daniel Fineren and Amena Bakr add, from Dubai:

Immediately after the Aug. 15 cyber attack, the company announced it had cut off its [network] to prevent further attacks. ... Saudi Aramco's [main] website...-- www.aramco.com -- remained down on Sunday. Email sent...to people within the company continued to bounce back.

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Saudi Arabia sent troops into Bahrain last year to [fight] Shi'ite-led protesters. Riyadh is also supporting Sunni rebels against the Syrian regime.  MORE

But Nathan Mattise says the company isn't being totally transparent:

It's nearly a plot line from the movies. ... [But details are] scarce—Saudi Aramco said the virus "originated from external sources." ... There was no mention of whether this was related to this month's Shamoon attacks. ... Researchers saw those as a copycat to a malware known as Wiper, which reportedly attacked Iran's oil ministry in April.  MORE

And Anthony Garreffa finds it "scary":

I still don't understand why oil and nuclear companies have their workstations Internet-capable. [They] should be the furthest away from any type of Internet connectivity.

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Simply take down a few electricity, nuclear and other networks and the country would tear itself apart.  MORE

Our newest contributor, Peter Eicher, agrees:

If you haven’t noticed lately, pretty much everything depends on electricity. ... Step through your typical day mentally and add up all the things...that need electrical power. ... Now imagine that you can’t do any of those things.

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Now think about your data center. ... Well, there’s the generator...[but] how are we going to get fuel?  MORE

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