A computer virus that wiped crucial business data from tens of thousands of computers at Middle Eastern energy companies over the summer marked the most destructive cyberattack on the private sector to date, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Thursday night in a major speech intended to warn of the growing perils in cyberspace.
Panetta did not say who was believed to be behind the so-called Shamoon virus. But he said the malware, which rendered permanently inoperable more than 30,000 computers at the Saudi Arabian state oil company Aramco and did similar damage to the systems of Ras Gas in Qatar, represented a “significant escalation of the cyberthreat.” Washington Post
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