The world’s most valuable oil producer found itself in hot water when hackers claimed to have confidential files that they would leak unless the Middle Eastern oil giant coughed up $50 million worth of cryptocurrency.
Files that allegedly belong to the company began appearing on the dark web on Tuesday, along with a demand for $50 million worth of cryptocurrency in return for the data being deleted. The extortionists, apparently a group known as ZeroX, claimed to have had 1 terabyte of Aramco proprietary data.
Reportedly, the group claimed to have documents pertaining to Saudi Aramco’s refineries located in multiple Saudi Arabian cities, including Yanbu, Jazan, Jeddah, Ras Tanura, Riyadh, and Dhahran. More specifically the documents consisted of:
-Full information on 14,254 employees.
-Internal analysis reports, agreements, letters, pricing sheets, etc.
-Project specification for systems related to/including electrical/power, architectural, engineering, civil, construction management, environmental, machinery, vessels, telecom, etc.
-Location map and precise coordinates.
-Network layout mapping out the IP addresses, Scada points, Wi-Fi access points, IP cameras, and IoT devices.
-List of Aramco’s clients, along with invoices and contracts.
Aramco quickly pointed fingers at a third-party contractor, denying any breach of its personal computer systems. The contractor was not identified, and it was unclear whether the data was obtained through hacking or leaking or some other way.
“We confirm that the release of data was not due to a breach of our systems, has no impact on our operations, and the company continues to maintain a robust cybersecurity posture.” The company said in an email.
A small portion of the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., better known as Saudi Aramco, is publicly traded on Riyadh’s Tadawul Stock Exchange. Reportedly, its stock stood at 34.90 riyals per share, or $9.30, after trading was suspended for the Muslim holiday Eid last Monday. That makes the company’s valuation roughly $1.8 trillion.
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