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Saudi Aramco Reveals Cyber Attack Hit 30,000 Workstations

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the running-windows-for-workstations-I-guess dept.

Android 65

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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android? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41135005)

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

Re:android? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41135017)

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.

Re:android? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41135033)

Forgot the assange. The /. audience gets a boner every time his name is mentioned.

Re:android? (5, Funny)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#41135141)

Yeah, but they'd need to wait until the story falls asleep before they can read it...

Re:android? (2)

MarkGriz (520778) | about 2 years ago | (#41135895)

Yeah, but they'd need to wait until the story falls asleep before they can read it...

Allegedly

Re:android? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41141131)

That's because you Linux folks are a bunch of fags.

Re:android? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41135153)

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

Re:android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41135435)

Yes, despite the fact that its three or more orders of magnitude less frequent there than on Windows.

That should tell you a bit about the power of Microsoft astroturf.

Re:android? (1)

Mathinker (909784) | about 2 years ago | (#41135247)

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

and its days old (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41135285)

sad just sad

I guess... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41135019)

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

Re:I guess... (2)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#41135055)

What? They were making up excuses...I though they had dropped that because they figured out that gas needs to be bought anyway.

Only One Norway (1, Troll)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about 2 years ago | (#41135021)

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 weird. Not the shithole you expect, nor the heaven you would believe, just... weird.)

[1]: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/99680a04-92a0-11de-b63b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz24jiNjYKn [ft.com]

Re:Only One Norway (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 2 years ago | (#41135073)

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.

Re:Only One Norway (2)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about 2 years ago | (#41135127)

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 oil runs out" but they mean more towards the terror financing and what not; 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.

Re:Only One Norway (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 2 years ago | (#41135405)

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.

Re:Only One Norway (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 2 years ago | (#41293755)

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

Re:Only One Norway (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 years ago | (#41137705)

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

Re:Only One Norway (1)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about 2 years ago | (#41145591)

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... (maybe I should have written my comment better...)

Oh and to answer your specific point, I wasn't implying a govt was behind this, It's clear from the weird name that a vague group is behind it.

Too much Pron (3, Funny)

arcite (661011) | about 2 years ago | (#41135027)

Memo to Staff: Cut back on the Pron.

Re:Too much Pron (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#41135245)

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.

Re:Too much Pron (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | about 2 years ago | (#41135299)

In Saudi Arabia they cut the offending body part... Ouch...

Re:Too much Pron (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41135569)

Memo to Staff:
Cut back on the Pron.

Addendum to memo,

Burka bitches 17 can be found on J drive.

Use Windows, get hosed (0)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#41135045)

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.

Re:Use Windows, get hosed (2)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 2 years ago | (#41135311)

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

Re:Use Windows, get hosed (1)

Johnny O (22313) | about 2 years ago | (#41135459)

In theory...

In Theory, Communism is good too!

In theory...

Re:Use Windows, get hosed (2)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41135899)

The difference between theory and practice is that in theory they're the same, and in practice they're not.

Re:Use Windows, get hosed (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41135955)

In theory...

In Theory, Communism is good too!

In theory...

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

Re:Use Windows, get hosed (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#41136235)

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 network into compartments regardless of what OS they use, at the very least it will slow crap down and most likely it will stop crap dead in its tracks.

Re:Use Windows, get hosed (1)

Johnny O (22313) | about 2 years ago | (#41136357)

another theory.

Re:Use Windows, get hosed (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#41136213)

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.

Re:Use Windows, get hosed (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 2 years ago | (#41136059)

Whats 30000 Windows in Unix server skill terms?
Like 1 server?

Re:Use Windows, get hosed (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#41136253)

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.

W32.Disttrack (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#41135047)

"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 (4, Interesting)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | about 2 years ago | (#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 ).

Re:In all seriousness (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 2 years ago | (#41135145)

I think you've missed about ten years of history.

Re:In all seriousness (2)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | about 2 years ago | (#41135167)

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.

Re:In all seriousness (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 2 years ago | (#41135191)

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.

Re:In all seriousness (3, Interesting)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:In all seriousness (2)

Atryn (528846) | about 2 years ago | (#41135461)

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.

Re:In all seriousness (1)

cusco (717999) | about 2 years ago | (#41147647)

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 removed from the pages of history."

For an interesting casual investigation you could do some research on Memri. Really a bunch of sleazebags, during their careers the principles were involved in international terrorism, spying on the US, drug running, money laundering, and weapons sales to both the Afghan jihadis and African militias.

Re:In all seriousness (1)

Candyban (723804) | about 2 years ago | (#41135645)

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 power.

If you stop messing with their lives and leave them alone, they will probably do the same. But at the moment the US (and part of Europe) loves nothing better than to stick their noses where they do not belong and pretend to have higher moral standards while bullying millions of people into submission.

I think in parallel to imposing sanctions

Do you not see the arrogance in your behavior/statement? What gives you the authority, either morally or legally to "impose" sanctions on another population? You do realize that those sanctions will kill thousands of children, right (lack of medication, etc ...) and why exactly? I have yet to see a good argument as to why they need to suffer for our pleasure.

I would love to see Iran get "the bomb". MAD has worked wonderfully in the past, so why would it not work now? Pakistan also has the bomb and I think they are as "dangerous" as Saudi or Iran, but I guess your TV did not make that an issue so it must be okay.

Re:In all seriousness (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41136035)

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.

Re:In all seriousness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41136195)

If technology can provide an alternate fuel source we can avoid a war that all will regret and some will not survive.

Re:In all seriousness (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41143719)

a war that all will regret and some will not survive.

Not all will regret it. Some are senator's sons.

Halliburton is laughing all the way to the bank as the sole contractor to repair our middle east bombing damage.

You're making a big mistake if you think that all will regret another war, or if the people in charge give a fig that some or even many will not survive.

Re:In all seriousness (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | about 2 years ago | (#41143997)

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...

Re:In all seriousness (1)

jpapon (1877296) | about 2 years ago | (#41135393)

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..

Obligatory danger quote: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41135223)

"Dangerous!" cried Gandalf. "And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord. And Aragorn is dangerous, and Legolas is dangerous. You are beset with dangers, Gimli son of Gloin; for you are dangerous yourself, in your own fashion."

Re:In all seriousness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41135825)

And you have missed the fact that those Salafist Jihadist were supported by the Iranian government and fought by the Saudi government!

Re:In all seriousness (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41136129)

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.

Re:In all seriousness (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#41135249)

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.

Re:In all seriousness (1)

mapkinase (958129) | about 2 years ago | (#41135313)

Dangerous to what?

Re:Dangerous to what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41135841)

to Android obviously.

Re:In all seriousness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41135381)

BTW, contrary to media reports; Apple is NOT the most valuable company in the world. It is Aramco... Apple is the most valuable traded company at around $700bn while Aramco is very difficult to value but is believed to be worth in excess of $1trillion.

Why is this filed under 'Android'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41135117)

I'm not seeing anything related to Android except some metatags and some ads that doubtless have been generated by them.

Re:Why is this filed under 'Android'? (1)

Kvorg (21076) | about 2 years ago | (#41135241)

Obviously a mistake. I guess you clicked on the android tag to say "not android"?

not exclusive possibilities (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41135905)

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.

Re:not exclusive possibilities (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 2 years ago | (#41136401)

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...

Re:not exclusive possibilities (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41144215)

Also true.

Wait for it..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41136387)

One week before the election, a "high ranking official" in Obama Administration will "leak" that this was the work of the American government.

Re:Wait for it..... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41136593)

One week before the election, a "high ranking official" in Obama Administration will "leak" that this was the work of the American government.

I'm not sure .... some people will think this is a good thing and some a bad thing.

Re:Wait for it..... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 years ago | (#41138035)

Yes, but the ones most likely to disapprove are likely voting for Obama anyway (I doubt the isolationist libertarian types are voting for either candidate).

Currently, the tampering in other countries branch of politics is a centrist republican plank.

Fifteen years sitting in prison is punishment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41141389)

Memorable quotes for
Looker (1981)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082677/quotes [imdb.com]

"John Reston: Television can control public opinion more effectively than armies of secret police, because television is entirely voluntary. The American government forces our children to attend school, but nobody forces them to watch T.V. Americans of all ages *submit* to television. Television is the American ideal. Persuasion without coercion. Nobody makes us watch. Who could have predicted that a *free* people would voluntarily spend one fifth of their lives sitting in front of a *box* with pictures? Fifteen years sitting in prison is punishment. But 15 years sitting in front of a television set is entertainment. And the average American now spends more than one and a half years of his life just watching television commercials. Fifty minutes, every day of his life, watching commercials. Now, that's power."

##

"The United States has it's own propaganda, but it's very effective because people don't realize that it's propaganda. And it's subtle, but it's actually a much stronger propaganda machine than the Nazis had but it's funded in a different way. With the Nazis it was funded by the government, but in the United States, it's funded by corporations and corporations they only want things to happen that will make people want to buy stuff. So whatever that is, then that is considered okay and good, but that doesn't necessarily mean it really serves people's thinking - it can stupify and make not very good things happen."
- Crispin Glover: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000417/bio [imdb.com]

##

"It's only logical to assume that conspiracies are everywhere, because that's what people do. They conspire. If you can't get the message, get the man." - Mel Gibson (from an interview)

##

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." - William Casey, CIA Director

##

George Carlin:

"The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they're an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else.

But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

You know what they want? Obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club.

This country is finished."

##

We now return you Americans to your media: Corporate, Government sponsored and controlled (rigged) elections..

Most of you are all so asleep it's time you woke up!

refuted or disputed? (1)

mrthoughtful (466814) | about 2 years ago | (#41146375)

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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