A few weeks ago, the Shamoon computer virus was attacking oil and gas operations throughout the Middle East. The virus complicated operations at some facilities and sabotaged other parts of the company. The virus disappeared as quickly as it arrived, but that doesn’t mean Middle Eastern oil companies are ready to forget about it.
Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s largest oil company, was most affected by the virus. Although the company claims that natural gas and oil operations were not halted, many computer workstations were affected and it appears that a significant amount of sensitive data leaked out.
As more research is being done on the Shamoon virus, more and more finger pointing is taking place. Some security experts say that the virus came from Iran, which itself has been the victim of plenty of western-based hacking attacks over the past few years. Other connections have been made with Arab countries like Syria and Bahrain. The latter two countries have experienced violent demonstrations over the past year, and one hacking group claimed that Saudi Arabia’s state oil company was attacked because it supported these atrocities.
However, the primary suspect in the Shamoon virus case is Iran. Iran is technologically advanced and has the skills to pull off an attack like this. But more importantly, Shamoon bears a striking resemblance to the viruses that have attacked Iran’s nuclear program over the last few years. It’s suspected that Iranian PC security researchers might have analyzed these viruses and then adapted them for their own use.
A complete discussion about the origins of the Shamoon computer virus can be found at CIO-Today.
While viruses like Shamoon may be designed to catch bigger fish than the average computer user, that doesn’t mean you can wilfully ignore the threats presented by the latest developments in PC security. To safeguard your computer and your private data, download a good antivirus program today. Or, check out the free trial version of PC Cleaner Pro to instantly identify threats on your computer.