Virus hits Qatari natural gas giant

Powered by SC Magazine
 

RasGas website and email servers shut down.

Qatari liquified natural gas (LNG) producer RasGas has been struck by an unknown virus that took its website and email servers offline last week.

RasGas stated last week that it had identified the virus on Monday.

"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 stated.

The attack came after malware affected some 30,000 workstations at oil company Saudi Aramco last month.

RasGas and Saudi Aramco have yet to name the malware that's infected them. However, researchers are examining whether data-wiping virus Shamoon was the culprit at Saudi Aramco.

Aviv Raff, CTO at Israeli security firm Seculert, which published a blog post analyzing Shamoon, said he was aware of Shamoon targeting “several specific companies in a few industries", although he could not name them, citing a non-disclosure agreement.

“Targeted attacks are commonly used against companies in the same vertical,” he said.

“So an attack against another company in the oil-and-energy industry isn't surprising. If it is indeed the same attack, I believe they are probably using this to cover their tracks of the actual intended action against RasGas.”

RasGas, short for Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company, was established in 2001 and is a joint venture between LNG producer Qatar Petroleum, which owns 70 percent of RasGas, and Exxon Mobil, which maintains a 30-percent share. Qatar is the world's largest LNG exporter.

Saudi Arabia-based Saudi Aramco resumed normal business operations last Saturday, after having its infected machines cleaned and restored. 

Additional reporting by Reuters.

Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition


Virus hits Qatari natural gas giant
 
 
 
Top Stories
Change is the only constant at iiNet
iiNet's Matthew Toohey is trialling IBM's Watson - between preparing for an acquisition and making sure Netflix doesn't swamp the network.
 
Why straight-through processing is the holy grail for banks
Big benefits from stripping away human intervention and digitising processes.
 
CBA sued over frozen millions in IT bribery scandal
Eric Pulier's not-for profit lodges lawsuit in US.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Should Optus make a bid for iiNet?

   |   View results
Yes
  44%
 
No
  56%
TOTAL VOTES: 674

Vote