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freespirit
25th August 2012, 13:38
Hackers Lay Claim to Saudi Aramco Cyberattack
By NICOLE PERLROTH



Unknown computer hackers claim they forced the world’s largest oil company, Saudi Aramco, to quarantine its oil production systems from infected PCs inside the company last week. They threatened to attack the company again this Saturday.

The hackers said that on Aug. 15, they unleashed a malicious virus into Saudi Aramco, the Saudi government-owned oil company, in retribution for what they said was the government’s support for “oppressive measures” in the Middle East.

The hackers, who call themselves “Cutting Sword of Justice,” said the virus had destroyed some 30,000 — or three-quarters — of all of Saudi Aramco’s computers. That’s a remarkable claim, but to prove it, on Friday, they posted blocks of what they claimed were the infected I.P. addresses on Pastebin, a Web site often used by hackers to post data from cyberattacks.

Saudi Aramco did not return a request seeking clarification.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the company confirmed that its computer network had experienced “a sudden disruption” on Aug. 15 — the day hackers claimed to have attacked its network — and afterward had “isolated all its electronic systems from outside access as an early precautionary measure.” It said the disruption appeared “to be the result of a virus that had infected personal workstations” but said the virus “had no impact whatsoever on any of the company’s production operations.”

Displeased with that response, hackers said in a new Pastebin post on Thursday that they planned to deploy another cyberattack on Saudi Aramco at 5 p.m. this Saturday. “You will not be able to stop it,” they wrote.

The Saudi Aramco attack would be the first significant use of malware in a so-called hacktivist attack, in which hackers target a company for activist reasons rather than for profit. In the past, hacktivists have used application or distributed denial of service — DDoS — attacks in which they clog a Web site with traffic until it falls offline.

“Hacktivists rarely use malware,” said Rob Rachwald, director of security at Imperva, a security company based in Redwood City, Calif. “The fact that they used malware is a spooky trend. If other hacktivists jump on this it could be very, very dangerous.”

Mr. Rachwald added that the attack highlighted the ineffectiveness of the antivirus solutions that are supposed to protect computer systems against malware threats. “Antivirus is a vestige of the past,” Mr. Rachwald said.

The use of malware triggered several theories on the Internet that the real culprit behind the Saudi Aramco attack was Iran. Tehran and the Saud family government have sparred recently over the latter’s pledge to make up for any cut in Iranian oil exports as a result of American- and European-imposed sanctions.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/hackers-lay-claim-to-saudi-aramco-cyberattack/?smid=tw-nytimesbits&seid=auto


So avalonians what are your opinions on 'Hackavists' ?

christian
25th August 2012, 13:52
An analogy would be the situation with guns in the US: Firing the first shot on the system is no good idea. The system might even stage such an attack to crack down on internet freedom. So this case here seems fishy to me. But it's good that there are PC geeks, because with their knowledge they are very good watchdogs etc.

Cognitive Dissident
25th August 2012, 14:26
Wow, this is a real rabbit hole. The malware used in this attack is based on Flame, which is the malware used to attach the Iranian nuclear plants..

http://www.informationweek.com/security/attacks/shamoon-malware-might-be-flame-copycat/240006014

Hard to figure what is going on here, to be honest. Still, impressive that they managed to crack Saudi Aramco ice.

smithersjones
25th August 2012, 16:31
Wow, this is a real rabbit hole. The malware used in this attack is based on Flame, which is the malware used to attach the Iranian nuclear plants...

Kaspersky labs, the Moscow based security research firm, has stated

Flame has been infecting computers in Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. It has been grabbing images of users’ computer screens, recording their instant messaging chats, remotely turning on their microphones to record their audio conversations and monitoring their keystrokes and network traffic,

and later releasing a further report, that they claim,

Flame could be the third major Internet weapon to have been discovered since 2010. The first, named Stuxnet, was intended to attack software in specialized industrial equipment, and was used to destroy centrifuges in an Iranian nuclear facility in 2010. The second virus, called Duqu, like Flame, performed reconnaissance. Security researchers believe Duqu was created by the same group of programmers behind Stuxnet.

norman
26th August 2012, 00:57
..............“Hacktivists rarely use malware,” said Rob Rachwald, director of security at Imperva, a security company based in Redwood City, Calif. “The fact that they used malware is a spooky trend. If other hacktivists jump on this it could be very, very dangerous.”.................



So avalonians what are your opinions on 'Hackavists' ?

My opinion is that he's about right but he's not suggested the obvious point here.

As it is the "government" that has all the data and all the cards up their sleeves, it's a dangerous shift all right. I've heard from a reliable source that "they" have a lot of very nasty 'malware' tricks ready to play when their ducks are all standing in a straight line.

We must not get giddy from the crazy contradictions in the info we are hearing these days. It's so crazy that I think we are supposed to get punch drunk, at least from it's clout to our senses. On the one hand, The stuxnet 'virus' was a terrorist thing, on the other hand it was a US Israeli admitted stunt. On the one hand al-Qaeda are the world's number one bad guys, on the other hand, they are helping the NATO crowd get the job done in the middle east ( and even flying their own flag in the over run capital cities afterwards).

So what the hell is going on? you might well ask. The game is shifting into the end game, that's what's happening. The assault is now directly against our own sense of what's what, and breaking it down.

"Hackers" are another stage of that process. The hacking scene is as controlled as the drugs scene, or the Islamic extremist scene. A lot of the people at the bottom have no idea who they are really taking instructions from, or who is controlling the agenda they got into as bright eyed kids a long time ago.

I even have my suspicions about the 'alternative' scene too. Can't really say I've got it sussed yet, but I'm certainly getting very unsure about my earlier preconceptions about it.

Never mind Shakespeare or 'The Wealth of Nations' or any of that fancy literate analysis of the human condition, if you still haven't got your head around the lessons of "The Prince" by Machiavelli, and haven't got the teachers wising our kids up to it in first school, we are still a flock of headless chickens all the way to the meat factory.

bluestflame
26th August 2012, 01:06
exactly norman another hydra

Rocky_Shorz
26th August 2012, 02:28
it gets worse, they're doing everything to drive up oil prices...


A huge explosion rocked Venezuela’s biggest oil refinery early Saturday, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 50 others in the deadliest disaster in memoryfor the country’s key oil industry. Balls of fire rose over the Amuay refinery, one of the largest in the world, in video posted on the Internet by people who were nearby at the time. Those killed included a 10-year-old boy, and at least 53 people were injured, Falcon state Gov. Stella Lugo said on state television. She said firefighters had controlled the flames at the refinery on the Paraguana Peninsula in western Venezuela, where large clouds of smoke were rising. “The areas that had to be evacuated were evacuated,” Lugo said, according to the state-run Venezuelan News Agency. “The situation is controlled. Of course they’re still a fire rising very high, but ... the specialists tell me there is no risk of another explosion.” The blast occurred after 1 a.m. when a gas leak created a cloud that ignited, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said. Some nearby houses were damaged by the blast, he said on television. “That gas generated a cloud that later exploded and has caused fires in at least two tanks of the refinery and surrounding areas,” Ramirez said on state television. “The blast wave was of a significant magnitude.”

Images in state media showed the flames casting an orange glow against the night sky. One photograph showed an injured man being wheeled away on a stretcher. Ramirez said oil workers will determine what caused the gas leak and were inspecting the damage along with troops. He said supplies of fuel had been cut off to the part of the refinery that was still in flames. Troops were securing the area at the refinery, Lugo said. Vice President Elias Jaua said on his Twitter account that the military was deployed to the area and that air ambulances were dispatched to ferry the wounded. The defense minister was traveling to the refinery along with Ramirez and other officials, Jaua said. Amuay is part of the Paraguana Refinery Complex, which also includes the adjacent Cardon refinery. Together, the two refineries process about 900,000 barrels of crude a day and 200,000 barrels of gasoline. It was unclear to what extent the explosion might affect oil shipments from Venezuela, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries... link (http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/?pageid=event_desc&edis_id=EX-20120825-36318-VEN)

bluestflame
26th August 2012, 02:37
upping oil; prices is one aspect , it will also restrict supplies (for anyone finally seeing the writing on the wall and wanting to make last minute panic buying)

norman
26th August 2012, 03:08
upping oil; prices is one aspect , it will also restrict supplies (for anyone finally seeing the writing on the wall and wanting to make last minute panic buying)


It will also help with the early preps and softening up of the eventual tick in the "take down the middle east chieftains" boxes of the general agenda. Saudi Arabia is the biggy at the bottom of the list, just before they kick in the traces in the U.S. The U.S. is safe only until Saudi Arabia is fallen. Then the Chinese and the Russians can handle all the thuggery from then on, by themselves.