2012 Aramco attack still haunting IT security officers: Have we learned enough?

Written by: Fleming. Team

2012 Aramco attack still haunting IT security officers: Have we learned enough?
It all started back in mid-2012. One of the computer technicians on Saudi Aramco's information technology team opened a scam email and clicked on a bad link. The hackers were in.
What we now know as the world's worst hack ever, started with a small momentarily carelessness.
As a result, the company had to temporarily go decades back in time. Corporate email was gone, office phones were dead, everyone started using typewriters. Managing supplies, shipping, contracts with governments and business partners -- all of that was forced to happen on paper. Five months later, with a newly secured computer network and an expanded cyber security team, Saudi Aramco brought its system back online, replacing all of their around 30.000 hard drives1
What seems like a happy ending of an industry giant's major crisis, could have ended much more dramatically if this was the case of a smaller company. The odds that they would make it through are very low.
While SA was able to bring its system back, the attacks remained a wake up call for the whole nation. Despite now having much more sophisticated cyber security systems compared to few years ago, the kingdom remains a global number two target for scammers and hackers, and the most spammed country in the world for three years in a row.
With each incident, the attacks become more sophisticated, harder to predict or resist. What's the latest Kingdom's cyber security strategy and how to develop resilience for the nation? How to safeguard critical assets in the age of mega-breach? Those will be only few of the questions the 3rd Annual Cyber Security Forum will try to tackle.
The event will bring on board a wide range of speakers, including James Trainor Jr., Assistant Director Cyber Defense at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), USA, who will deliver a special keynote presentation. The event will address the current challenges, such as ISO 27018, Data Center Security, Cryptography and how to modernize the overall cyberspace.
The partners and supporters of the event include Dell, SecureWorks, Sophos, Detasad, Cisco, Owl Technologies, and more.
“The threat for cyber security is increasing and thus one needs to create a balance between business agility and security controls. We believe this event will help clarify the essential steps companies need to take in order to stay secure”, said Zenab Husain, the producer of the event.
For more information about the event, visit or email

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Middle East Security

3rd Cyber Security Forum 2016

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