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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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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

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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