Saudi Aramco admits that it was subjected to “blackmail” of millions of dollars


The giant Saudi oil company, Aramco, admitted, on Wednesday, that it was subjected to a process of “blackmail” after the leakage of its data, while adding that the “data hijackers” are demanding a ransom of fifty million dollars.

The company said in a statement to the Associated Press that “the data leaked from the company – files that are apparently being used in an attempt to extortion electronically involving a ransom demand of $ 50 million – likely came from one of its contractors.

She added, “We have recently learned of an indirect publication of a limited number of company data held by third parties contracting with it.”

The company did not mention the name of the contractor who was harmed, nor whether that contractor was hacked or whether the information was leaked in another way.

“We confirm that the release of the data was not due to a breach of our systems, has no impact on our operations, and the company continues to maintain strong cybersecurity.”

One of the dark web sites claimed that the blackmailer possessed 1 terabyte of Aramco data.

The page gave Aramco a deadline to delete the data in exchange for $50 million in cryptocurrency, and it was not clear who was behind the ransom plot.

Aramco was previously targeted in a cyber attack in 2012, when the company was affected by the so-called “Shamoon virus”, which deleted hard drives and then displayed an image of a burning American flag on computer screens.

The attack forced Aramco to shut down its network and destroyed more than 30,000 computers.

Later, US officials blamed Iran for this attack, which in turn was targeted for its nuclear enrichment program with the Stuxnet virus, and it is likely that it was an American and Israeli manufacture.

In 2017, another virus spread throughout Saudi Arabia and disrupted computers in the “Sadara” project, a joint venture between Aramco and the Michigan-based Dow Chemical Company, and warnings were issued at the time that it might be another version of the “Shamoon” virus.

And delivery time Oil PriceThe oil specialist said on Tuesday that “the data breach that the hackers say happened last year had no impact on Aramco’s operations.”

The threat group, known as ZeroX, is up for sale on the darknet with data it claims it gained by hacking Aramco’s “network and servers” at some point last year.

The data offered for sale, according to the location, includes documents related to Saudi Aramco refineries, personal information on more than 14,000 employees, project specifications for systems, internal pricing and analytics sheets, as well as security-related information including IP addresses and Wi-Fi access points. .

The group claims it was negotiating the sale of the data with five interested potential buyers.


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