In August 2017, a petrochemical company with a plant in Saudi Arabia was hit with a cyberattack aiming not to simply destroy data but to sabotage the firm’s operations and trigger an explosion.
According to the New York Times, investigators have yet to identify the company targeted and have not identified the culprits, but outside experts claim there are indications that the attackers were likely supported by a government. The only thing that prevented an explosion was an error in the attackers’ code. The attackers seem to have compromised industrial controllers, which regulate voltage, pressure and temperatures.
The Times article adds: “United States government officials, their allies and cybersecurity researchers worry that the culprits could replicate it in other countries, since thousands of industrial plants all over the world rely on the same American-engineered computer systems that were compromised.”
Read more about the investigation into the cyberattack on a petrochemical facility in Saudi Arabia on Security Magazine.