03 Sep 2012

Quatar-Based Gas Company Gets Hit by Unknown Virus

Energy firm RasGas, the world's second-biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, has reportedly suffered a network breach on Monday caused by an unknown virus. The news comes a couple of days after a similar incident involving Saudi Arabia oil company Aramco.

According to preliminary reports, the computers in the company network have been taken offline, pending forensic analysis and cleanup. The breach was detected earlier this week on systems not related to industrial process control or monitoring.

"The company's office computers have been affected by an unknown virus. It was first identified on Monday," the company said in a statement. "Operational systems both onsite and offshore are secure and this does not affect production at the Ras Laffan Industrial City Plant or scheduled cargoes."

It is currently unknown whether the virus identified on the RasGas network has anything in common with the attack against more than 30,000 computers belonging to Saudi Arabia's Aramco.

Malware attacks against corporate environments pose great associated risks to the stability and continuity of operations. Given the prevalence of zero-day exploits, antivirus solutions need to be complemented with other security measures at the network perimeter, such as intrusion detection and dedicated firewalls.