The "Shamoon" virus that attacked Saudi Arabia's state oil company, ARAMCO, was probably the most destructive attack the business sector has seen to date, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday.
Shamoon describes as most destructive attack on the business sector
He said Shamoon included a routine called a "wiper," coded to self-execute, which replaced crucial system files with an image of a burning U.S. flag. It also overwrote all the real data on the machine with what he called garbage data.
"Imagine the impact an attack like this would have on your company," Panetta said, as he called for steps to bolster the nation's cyber defenses.
In his speech, Panetta also cited recent denial-of-service attacks against major U.S. banks, which delayed or disrupted services on customer websites.
"While this kind of tactic isn't new, the scale and speed with which it happened was unprecedented," he said.
One U.S. official, briefing reporters before the speech on condition of anonymity, said the United States knew who carried out the attacks cited in Panetta's speech, but declined to disclose that information.
Tags: Virus , Saudi Aramco Virus , RasGas virus , computer virus , virus attacks , Symantec , RasGas infection , Gulf computer attacks , Saudi Aramco , Aramco , Aramco virus , Saudi Arabia national oil company , Saudi Arabia virusAramco virus suspect , Shamoon virus , Shamoon
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