By Patrick Osgood
Qatari LNG producer hit by "unknown virus"; follows similar attack at Saudi Aramco
RasGas, the second largest producer of Qatari LNG after Qatar Petroleum, has been hit with an "unknown virus" which has taken the company offline.
A RasGas spokesperson confirmed that “an unknown virus has affected its office systems" since Monday 27 August.
RasGas confirmed the situation by fax yesterday. “RasGas is presently experiencing technical issues with its office computer systems,” said the RasGas fax seen by Oil & Gas Middle East, dated 28 August. “We will inform you when our system is back up and running.”
Emails to verified addresses at RasGas bounced back with a permanent delivery failure error message. and the RasGas website (www.rasgas.com) is down.
The RasGas spokesman said the virus has “no impact whatsoever on operations in Ras Laffan Industrial City and there are no issues with cargo deliveries.”
“Everyone is reporting to work as normal,” the spokesman said. “We are working with ICT Qatar to resolve the situation as soon as possible.”
The news follows a malware attack against Saudi Aramco on 15 August which forced the world's largest oil company to take down its company-wide office systems for 12 days.
RasGas, a joint venture between QP and ExxonMobil, comprises seven giant LNG process trains in Ras Laffan, Qatar. The company exports 36.3m tonnes a year of LNG, most of which under long-term contracts with customers in Korea, India, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Taiwan, and the Americas. The company us also responsible for around 10% of global helium production.
Stop depending on computers primarily to run your business.
Sadly, like all Gulf countries, the mentality remains, "why build or learn yourself when u can just buy?". As a result of this there is full dependency on foreign (mainly western) suppliers and the deficiencies of these systems. The Gulf pays millions annually to have MS Windows at vital installations, when China refused it even though offered this for free. China instead decided to build their own - smart as they are, with tremendous local talent - that the Gulf lacks, and could not develop in spite of nearly 8 decades of oil wealth!
Size is no issue - Israel has some of the best Tech talent on the planet in spite of its small size and population. Its all about the mentality...which drips with pride.
computer are here to stay, they make our life easy. but the question is, two weeks after ARAMCO been hit and other OIL companies, shouldn't the IT security in charge in RG be more vigilant if aware at all of such? and take more efficient precautions. we are not in the eighties anymore, even us, who are not in the field would assume to take such protective steps.