Thursday 22 July 2021 1:42 pm

Saudi Aramco 'faces $50m ransom' after data leak

Saudi Aramco is reportedly facing a $50m (£36.3m) ransom demand after a data leak from one of its contractors.

The world’s largest oil firm confirmed in a statement that it “recently became aware of the indirect release of a limited amount of company data which was held by third-party contractors.”

Aramco added: “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.”

According to the AP, a page on the dark web claims that the ransomers are holding 1 terabyte worth of the firm’s data.

The state-owned firm has been offered the chance to have the data deleted in return for $50m in cryptocurrency, it added.

It is the second time this year that a industry player has come under cyber attack, after the Colonial Pipeline in the US was targeted by hackers in May.

On that occasion, the attackers demanded $4.4m in bitcoin in return for handing back control of the pipeline, which carries around 3m barrels of oil a day between Texas and New York.

The attacks have led to fears that critical national infrastructure assets could increasingly come under assault from cyber criminals.

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