Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

8/30/2012
05:10 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Second Middle Eastern Utility Hit By Malware Attack

Qatar gas company hack similar pattern as that of Saudi Arabian oil company -- shades of Shamoon?

Qatar’s RasGas -- one of the largest natural gas producers in the world -- is the latest Middle Eastern utility this month to suffer a major malware attack that took down some of its internal systems.

According to a Reuters report, RasGas detected "an unknown" virus on its office computers on Monday, and its website and email servers appeared to be offline as well.

The attack is eerily reminiscent of the one experienced this month by Saudi Aramco, which spread to 30,000 of the massive oil company's workstations -- the same number quoted by the attackers who took responsibility for the attack and gave a hat tip to Shamoon malware research in an online post. Neither Saudi Aramco nor security researchers who have studied the malware in the oil company attack would confirm the connection, but one source with knowledge of the attacks confirmed that the attack on Saudi Aramco was Shamoon. Like Saudi Aramco, RasGas said its production systems were not hit in the attack. "Operational systems both onsite and offshore are secure and this does not affect production at the Ras Laffan Industrial City plant or scheduled cargoes," the company said in a statement reported by Reuters.

It's unclear whether the RasGas attacks came from Shamoon. Some security experts say Shamoon is part of a wider campaign of attacks than was first believed. Shamoon isn't your typical targeted attack: It's not all about spying or stealing information, but instead it's aimed at total annihilation of the data and machines.

Shamoon, a.k.a. W32.Disttrack, not only trashes files, but also overwrites the system's Master Boot Record (MBR) to disable the computer altogether. It's made up of three components: a dropper that also unleashes other modules; a wiper that performs the destruction element of the attack; and a reporter, which reports the progress of the attack back to the attacker. The wiper component deletes the existing driver and overwrites the signed one.

Speculation has run high over who is behind the Shamoon attacks, everything from a traditional hacktivist group to the Iranian government.

ICS-CERT yesterday issued Website and alert on Shamoon. "Because of the highly destructive functionality of the Shamoon “Wiper” module, an organization infected with the malware could experience operational impacts including loss of intellectual property (IP) and disruption of critical systems. Actual impact to organizations vary, depending on the type and number of systems impacted," the alert says.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Attackers Leave Stolen Credentials Searchable on Google
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2021
How to Better Secure Your Microsoft 365 Environment
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/25/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: We need more votes, check the obituaries.
Current Issue
2020: The Year in Security
Download this Tech Digest for a look at the biggest security stories that - so far - have shaped a very strange and stressful year.
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise -- and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-3317
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-26
KLog Server through 2.4.1 allows authenticated command injection. async.php calls shell_exec() on the original value of the source parameter.
CVE-2013-2512
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-26
The ftpd gem 0.2.1 for Ruby allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary OS commands via shell metacharacters in a LIST or NLST command argument within FTP protocol traffic.
CVE-2021-3165
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-26
SmartAgent 3.1.0 allows a ViewOnly attacker to create a SuperUser account via the /#/CampaignManager/users URI.
CVE-2021-1070
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-26
NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier Series, Jetson Xavier NX, TX1, TX2, Nano and Nano 2GB, L4T versions prior to 32.5, contains a vulnerability in the apply_binaries.sh script used to install NVIDIA components into the root file system image, in which improper access control is applied, which may lead to an un...
CVE-2021-1071
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-26
NVIDIA Tegra kernel in Jetson AGX Xavier Series, Jetson Xavier NX, TX1, TX2, Nano and Nano 2GB, all L4T versions prior to r32.5, contains a vulnerability in the INA3221 driver in which improper access control may lead to unauthorized users gaining access to system power usage data, which may lead to...