Saudi Aramco Confirms Data Leak After Reported Cyber Extortion

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(Bloomberg) — Saudi Aramco confirmed that some company files were leaked after reportedly facing a $50 million cyber-extortion attempt.

“Aramco recently became aware of the indirect release of a limited amount of company data which was held by third-party contractors,” the Middle Eastern oil major said Wednesday in an email. “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.”

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The Associated Press reported earlier that 1 terabyte of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. data had been held by an extortionist, citing a web page it had accessed on the darknet. The state-owned driller was offered the chance to have the data deleted for $50 million in cryptocurrency, the AP said.

The global energy industry has seen a ramp up in cyber attacks with Colonial Pipeline becoming the most visible of late. The oil and gas industry, which includes the companies that own wells, pipelines and refineries, has long been a laggard in security spending, according to consultants.

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