Iran attempts hack of Saudi government computers – again

Countries that are victims of cyber-espionage, 2013

A computer virus, designed by Iranian cyber-espionage firms and hackers, has struck Saudi computers for a second time.

The virus is called Shamoon, and was first unleashed on Aramco, a Saudi oil company, in 2012. The virus targets the hard drives of computers, and completely wipes them of all data. The virus leaves behind pictures on the computers affected, and in recent attacks, the computers were found with the famous picture of the drowned 3 year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi.

The cyber-attack was done on several Saudi government computers, and the strike was timed so that employees would be on their weekend break, in order to inflict maximum damage.

So why didn’t the Saudi government prepare for a strike like this when they’d already been hit before by the same virus? Well, it’s a new version of the same virus, so it may have been that Iranian hackers found new ways around Saudi cyber-defenses.


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