TECH
10/24/2012 08:27 am ET Updated Dec 24, 2012

Cyberattack On Saudi Oil Firm Disquiets U.S.

On Aug. 15, more than 55,000 Saudi Aramco employees stayed home from work to prepare for one of Islam's holiest nights of the year -- Lailat al Qadr, or the Night of Power -- celebrating the revelation of the Koran to Muhammad.

That morning, at 11:08, a person with privileged access to the Saudi state-owned oil company's computers, unleashed a computer virus to initiate what is regarded as among the most destructive acts of computer sabotage on a company to date. The virus erased data on three-quarters of Aramco's corporate PCs -- documents, spreadsheets, e-mails, files -- replacing all of it with an image of a burning American flag.

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