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Shamoon was trying to stop oil production: Aramco

KSA petrochemical giant speaks out for first time on suspected aim of August attack

Shamoon was trying to stop oil production: Aramco
The attack on Saudi Aramco - which supplies a tenth of the world's oil - failed to disrupt production.

Saudi Aramco said on Sunday that the Shamoon virus attack it suffered in August, while only downing office workstations, was in fact targeted at critical control systems with the intent of stopping production at the world's largest oil supplier, Reuters reported.

In the wake of the August attack, Saudi's national oil company said that the damage was limited to 30,000 office workstations, which it restored some 12 days later, and that production had not been affected. On al-Ekhbariya television on Sunday, in its first public statement about the suspected aim of the attack, Abdullah al-Saadan, Aramco's vice president for corporate planning said: "The main target in this attack was to stop the flow of oil and gas to local and international markets and thank God they were not able to achieve their goals."

The group claiming responsibility for the Shamoon attack calls itself "Cutting Sword of Justice" and promised in August that more attacks would follow. I also claimed it had accessed several Aramco documents, which it threatened to release, but as yet it has not done so. Cutting Swrd said it had targeted the oil producer as part of the state infrastructure, blaming Saudi Arabia for "atrocities" committed in countries such as Bahrain and Syria.

In a joint investigation with the Saudi Interior Ministry, Aramco is conducting an investigation into the attack. Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki said the attackers were organised and based in several countries across four continents. He also said there was no current evidence that Aramco employees had been involved with the group, but that the investigation was ongoing.

Saudi Aramco supplies around one tenth of the world's oil. In the kingdom as a whole, oil accounts for more than 40% of GDP and 80% to 90% of total Saudi revenue.

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