TECH

Cyberattack On Saudi Oil Firm Disquiets U.S.

Oct 24, 2012 | Updated Dec 24, 2012

On Aug. 15, more than 55,000 Saudi Aramco employees stayed home from work to prepare for one of Islam's holiest nights of the year -- Lailat al Qadr, or the Night of Power -- celebrating the revelation of the Koran to Muhammad.

That morning, at 11:08, a person with privileged access to the Saudi state-owned oil company's computers, unleashed a computer virus to initiate what is regarded as among the most destructive acts of computer sabotage on a company to date. The virus erased data on three-quarters of Aramco's corporate PCs -- documents, spreadsheets, e-mails, files -- replacing all of it with an image of a burning American flag.

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