No word yet on who carried out the attack
Qatar-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer RasGas has reported that malware has shut down part of its computer system.
It is the latest malware attack in the Middle East region, following an attack on the computer network of a state owned oil producer in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
RasGas said in a statement that the firm was facing ‘technical issues’ after being ‘affected by an unknown virus’. "Operational systems onsite and offshore are secure, this does not affect our production at the Ras Laffan industrial city plant nor scheduled cargoes," RasGas said.
The disruption follows similar attack faced by Saudi Aramco, the government-owned firm, which also reported a virus attack affecting 30,000 of its computers.
Saudi Aramco said in a statement: "Our core businesses of oil and gas exploration, production and distribution from the wellhead to the distribution network were unaffected."
The attacks come as security experts warn of efforts by hackers to harm the oil and energy industry. Both attacks follow alerts delivered by security firms in relation to a virus known as ‘Shamoon‘ or ‘Disstrack’, which mainly targets firms in the oil and energy sectors.
According to the security firms, viruses Shamoon/Disstrack will not try to pinch data but instead attempts to delete it irrecoverably by spreading around internal computer networks through shared hard drives.