Computer hackers target Saudi Arabia in series of virus attacks

Hackers have reportedly conducted a series of attacks on Saudi Arabia, targeting the agency running the country’s airports and hitting five additional targets.
Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the attacks took place over the last two weeks, citing two people familiar with an investigation into the breach.
Saudi Arabia said after inquiries from Bloomberg that “several” government agencies were targeted in attacks that came from outside the kingdom. No further details were provided.
Bloomberg said that although the investigation is still in its early stages, digital evidence suggests the attacks emanated from Iran.

It added that thousands of computers were destroyed at the headquarters of Saudi’s General Authority of Civil Aviation, citing the people familiar with the investigation.
The people didn’t identify the other targets but one said they were all inside Saudi Arabia and included other government ministries.
US security firms said on Wednesday that a version of Shamoon, the destructive computer virus that four years ago crippled tens of thousands of computers at Middle Eastern energy companies, was used two weeks ago to attack computers in Saudi Arabia.
In 2014, it was reported that an Iran-based hacking group had targeted some of the world’s leading energy, transport and telecoms companies, including those in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Saudi Aramco and Qatar Airlines were reportedly among the victims.
Aramco was the victim of a targeted attack in August 2012, when around 30,000 workstations were rendered inactive by the Shamoon virus in an apparent hacktivist campaign.
Bloomberg said no one was available to comment at the Iranian foreign ministry or at the Iranian presidency’s media relations department.


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