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Hack of Saudi Arabia Exposes Middle East Cybersecurity Flaws

  • Hackers hit region more often and with greater severity: PwC
  • Technology alone is no defense, education also vital: FireEye
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Saudi Hack Exposes Middle East Cybersecurity Flaws

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More than a year after a drowned Syrian toddler washed up on a beach in Turkey, the tiny refugee’s body, captured in a photograph that shocked the world, reappeared on computer screens across Saudi Arabia -- this time as a prelude to a cyberattack.

The strike last month disabled thousands of computers across multiple government ministries in Saudi Arabia, a rare use of offensive cyberweapons aimed at destroying computers and erasing data. The attackers, who haven’t claimed responsibility, used the same malware that was employed in a 2012 assault against Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, and which destroyed 35,000 computers within hours.