Maritime Computer Emergency Response Team ADMIRAL dataset ADMIRAL dataset

Publicly disclosed information for this event

Index Number:
Virus spread on offshore company network.
Day Month Year Country Activity Incident Type
1 August 2012 Saudi Arabia Offshore Virus/Ransomware


According to sources, the company's systems were compromised by a destructive malware designed explicitly for 32-bit NT kernel versions of Microsoft Windows. This malware, known as Shamoon, spread from one infected machine to other networked computers. Once a system was infiltrated, the malware compiled lists of files, relayed them to the attacker, and subsequently deleted them. The virus culminated its attack by overwriting the Master Boot Record (MBR), rendering the infected computer non-operational. The attack was claimed by a group called "Cutting Sword of Justice".

The consequences of the cyber intrusion were significant, deeply affecting the victim's operational capabilities. An estimated 30,000 workstations were impacted, necessitating the company to devote over a week for service restoration. This event had cascading effects on the global market: the company's sudden and vast procurement of hard drives led to a notable hike in their market prices. Additionally, the public faced gasoline shortages as a direct result of the attack.


Saudi Aramco

Claimed/Reported Threat Actor

Cutting Sword of Justice



Main impact



Recommendations to Offshore to reduce Virus/Ransomware risks:

  • Map, understand, patch and secure your exposed assets on the Internet.
  • Implement email filtering systems to detect and block phishing emails.
  • Train your organisation, personnel regularly against these threats.
  • Install efficient Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) tools.
  • Work with your CSIRT organization to better understand the Tactics, Techniques and Procedures used by threat actors.
  • Monitor your IT and OT systems to quickly detect potential pre-ransomware activity.
  • Implement an efficient offline backup policy.
  • Encrypt all sensitive data to avoid further data leaks.
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Disclaimer: the data are provided as is. France Cyber Maritime and the M-CERT take no responsibility for the soundness, quality, precision, nor the eventual attribution made by the referenced URLs. We give a lot of respect and support to the victims of attacks.
Files generated on Monday, 11th December 2023.
ADMIRAL is licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC license. Copyright © France Cyber Maritime 2023.