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Saudi oil giant seals off network after mystery malware attack

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Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Saudi Aramco) shut down its computer network on Wednesday in response to a serious computer virus infection. The state-owned firm said the computer security incident is having no effect on oil production.

"On Wednesday, August 15, 2012, an official at Saudi Aramco confirmed that the company has isolated all its electronic systems from outside access as an early precautionary measure that was taken following a sudden disruption that affected some of the sectors of its electronic network," Saudi Aramco explains in a statement on its Facebook page.

"The disruption was suspected to be the result of a virus that had infected personal workstations without affecting the primary components of the network."

Saudi Aramco confirmed the integrity of all of its electronic network that manages its core business and said the interruption has had no impact on any of the company’s production operations. "The company employs a series of precautionary procedures and multiple redundant systems within its advanced and complex system that are used to protect its operational and database systems," it added.

It is unclear when Saudi Aramco will be able to plug back its systems into the interwebs. The identity of the strain of malware that caused the breach has not been released. ®

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