On this day in 2012, the discovery of the Shamoon virus was announced.

The 2012 attack is regarded as one of the most destructive in history.

Shamoon was unusual due to its highly destructive nature and its use in targeting the Saudi Arabian government, in particular causing destruction to the state-owned national oil company Saudi Aramco.

The virus is particularly destructive as it spreads from an infected machine to other computers on a network and continues to compile a list of files from specific locations on the system, upload them to the attacker, and erase them.

The virus also overwrites the master boot record of an infected computer, making it unusable.Since 2012, there have been several 'outbreaks' of Shamoon against various oil companies operating in the Middle East, with the most recent occurring in 2018.

The 2012 attack is regarded as one of the most destructive in history after it destroyed 35,000 computers and forced Saudi Aramco to use typewriters and faxes to stay operational.

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Facts about About Shamoon

 

  • The virus first spread after a Saudi Aramco technician opened a malicious phishing email
  • The hackers were never identified or caught - at least not that we know of.
  • The attack occurred during the month of Ramadan in 2012 suggesting the attack was timed to occur after most staff had gone on holiday in order to reduce the chance of discovery and ensure maximum damage.

 

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