Print 13 comment(s) - last by NellyFromMA.. on Apr 25 at 12:46 PM

Oil industry computers taken off-line

Much of the world's oil comes from the Middle East. If those oil-producing nations were somehow unable to conduct operations, it would be a huge blow to the global economy. Reports claim that the Iranian oil industry has been hit with a large cyber attack. Iran has disconnected computer systems at a number of its oil production facilities from the web in response to a cyber attack that occurred over the weekend.
Reuters reports that a source at the National Iranian Oil Company told it that a virus had been discovered in the control systems at the Kharg Island Oil terminal. That oil terminal handles most of Iran's crude oil exports. Other computer systems at Iran's Oil Ministry and its national oil company were also hit by the attackers.
A spokesman for the oil ministry Ali Reza Nikzad-Rahbar claims that the attack didn't cause significant damage and that the worm used in the attack was discovered before infecting systems. Iran has offered no details on exactly what worm or malware was used in the attack and the oil facilities were allegedly disconnected from the Internet simply as a precaution.
This isn't the first time that Iran has been attacked by cyber criminals. In 2010, the country was the main target of the Stuxnet worm, which was found to be targeting Iran's uranium enrichment program. SecurityWeek also reports that Iran was attacked by the Duqu worm and the country bolstered its cyber defenses after those attacks.
“Iran's Revolutionary Guard claims to have created a "hack-proof" network for all sensitive data,” blogged Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos Canada. “I have yet to see a hack-proof network and if they have convinced themselves it's true, perhaps that is part of the problem…One thing is clear, whether you are an oppressive regime, or simply an average small business, anyone who depends upon the internet will face malware threats and hacking attempts.”

Source: SecurityWeek

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hack proof
By kleinma on 4/24/2012 10:39:39 AM , Rating: 2
The only hack proof network is one that is not connected to the outside internet at all, and has no actual users on the network either. So pretty much a useless linkup of computers is the only hack proof network.

Once the outside world is involved, or even users of the system (as it is suspected that the stuxnet was implanted by a rouge user via USB key), the thing can be compromised.

RE: hack proof
By kattanna on 4/24/2012 11:48:03 AM , Rating: 5
we all know that the only truly safe computer to use is a MAC


RE: hack proof
By FITCamaro on 4/24/2012 12:37:25 PM , Rating: 2
Cue Tony.

RE: hack proof
By sigmatau on 4/24/2012 12:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
Only Steve Job's Mac is hack proof. He paid extra for that option.

RE: hack proof
By amanojaku on 4/24/2012 1:06:44 PM , Rating: 3
Steve Jobs' Mac was "hack proof" only because we all knew nothing was on it worth stealing. No porn, no games, no links to funny Flash videos (only QT, ugh!).

Apparently, the only thing on it was an experimental version of iOS X. And a GPS app pointing to the nearest store that sold black turtlenecks, blue jeans and sneakers.

RE: hack proof
By Reclaimer77 on 4/24/2012 5:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget homeopathic (bullshit drugs that never work) Cancer meds!

By NellyFromMA on 4/24/2012 12:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
Meh, Iran just wants to drive up oil prices to try to hurt the US. No one really wants to take their oil industry out so sharply like that. It's counter-productive to any of Iran's 'enemies'.

Nah, this is Iranian deception. Yawn.

RE: Meh
By TSS on 4/24/2012 6:29:56 PM , Rating: 1
Iran doesn't even export to the US. If anybody is driving up oil prices it's the US, having driven up EU oil prices by placing extra sanctions on it's allies for buying oil from iran, which the EU did do, and because of which the price of brent did rise.

But since the EU jumped ship, the US or any of it's allies no longer gets oil from iran. A perfect time to take out their oil industry, since it has the smallest amount of effect on the US or EU oil prices.

Sorry, but when somebody asks me wether it's more likely that iranians did this to themselves or the US did it, i'd say the US did it. Or israel, probably israel. But then again i doubt this stuff doesn't get communicated to israel's main ally. But then again, israel is getting more agressive lately so who knows.

RE: Meh
By NellyFromMA on 4/25/2012 12:46:29 PM , Rating: 3
Well, Iran already has trie to drive up American oil prices (and actually had) by threatening closure of the STrait of Hormuz very recently... even if we do not directly purchase Iranian oil, if their oil does not hit the market, the overall global supply is lowered which via speculation drives global prices up.

Maybe my understanding of that is wrong though.

"Present" hidden in drone code?
By jnemesh on 4/24/2012 11:47:54 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe their "decryption" of the drone they captured gave them something a little extra?

By drycrust3 on 4/24/2012 12:55:26 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe "someone" put a "trial version" of the Lockheed Martin RQ170 software package on the internet ... "Free to download Lockheed Martin Sentinal series RQ160, RQ170, and RQ180 software package ... starts on boot up ... includes latest 'updates' straight from the manufacturer ... needs Windows XP to run" ... he he he.

No real proof it was a hack
By Solandri on 4/24/2012 1:43:42 PM , Rating: 2
Iran has offered no details on exactly what worm or malware was used in the attack and the oil facilities were allegedly disconnected from the Internet simply as a precaution.

I'm gonna use the same standard I set for the U.S. drone downed in Iran. Unless you can provide some evidence it was deliberately targeted and hacked, I'm gonna assume it was far more likely to be a run-of-the-mill malfunction or virus infection (e.g. some low-level employee there decided to install some warez).

Managers tend to assume all such computer problems are a hack. If it was a malfunction or regular virus, it's the manager's fault for improper maintenance or lax security policies. OTOH, if it was a hack, then it's someone else's fault. So managers like everyone else to think it was someone else's fault until proven that it was theirs. Not the other way around.

RE: No real proof it was a hack
By kattanna on 4/24/2012 4:25:53 PM , Rating: 2

it could also be nothing more then a simple local issue that the government has decided to twist to make for good propaganda

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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