Saudi Arabia’s national oil corporation admitted on Wednesday that one of its contractors was likely responsible for the company’s exposed data, which is now utilized in a cyber-extortion attempt including a $50 million ransom demand. The Saudi Arabian Oil Co., commonly known as Saudi Aramco, recently became aware of the indirect release of a small quantity of company data kept by third-party contractors, according to The Associated Press.
The oil company did not name the contractor that was affected, nor did it clarify whether the contractor was hacked or if the information was released in some other way.
Breach in the System
Aramco confirmed that this leak of data was not due to a breach in their system. According to representatives, it didn’t have any impact on their operations and the company continues to maintain a robust cybersecurity posture.
The AP found a page on the darknet claiming the extortionist had 1 terabyte of Aramco data. The darknet is a part of the Internet kept within an encrypted network. It’s accessible only through specialized anonymity-providing software. 1,000 gigabytes equals a terabyte.
The page gave Aramco the chance to have the data corrupted for $50 million in cryptocurrency, with a countdown counting down from $5 million, most likely to put pressure on the corporation. Who is behind the ransom plan is yet unknown.
Aramco has previously been the target of a cyberattack. This Shamoon virus corrupted hard drives and then flashed a picture of a burning American flag on computer displays, which affected the kingdom’s oil behemoth in 2012. Aramco was forced to shut down its network and destroy over 30,000 machines as a result of the attack.
Who’s to Blame for the Attack?
After the strike, the US put the blame on Iran, whose nuclear enrichment program had just been targeted by the Stuxnet virus, which was most likely created by the US and Israel.
Another virus hit back in 2017. It disrupted computers at Sadara, a joint venture between Dow Chemical Co in Michigan and Aramco. Officials informed at the time that it could be a reincarnation of Shamoon.
Aramco Is One of the Most Successful Companies in the World
After trading ceased recently for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the sliver of Aramco that presently trades openly on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange stood at 34.90 riyals per share, or $9.30. This values the corporation at roughly $1.8 trillion, making it one of the most valuable companies in the world.
Kanye West, one of the world’s best-loved rappers, has introduced a whole new experience for his techno-loving fans. In collaboration with electronic equipment design firm, Kano, Kanye has unveiled a “Donda Stem Player,” a device that allows you to remix songs from his latest album “Donda.” The rapper is no stranger to technology and was also in talks with Swedish Electronics manufacturer Teenage Engineering for collaborating in 2019.
How it Works
So what’s exciting about this puck-shaped device? You can isolate parts of the songs you enjoy and set your own background scores to them. Play around with the bass and drums and even vocals give the song our very own interpretation. The stem payer device will not separate “song elements”, but it does come equipped with useful tools such as audio mixing across four channels, different effects, sampling selections, looping, and speed controls.
To navigate, use four touch-sensitive “light sliders,” and haptic feedback. The gadget has customizable colors, with saving options to share your “creations” with friends. The built-in speaker devices or a Bluetooth connection is ideal for audio streaming, and for private listening, you can always tune into the 3.5mm headphone jack. Audio Files are compatible with both lossy and lossless formats (including AAC, AIFF, MP3, and WAV).
To Buy or Not to Buy
The drawbacks? There are only 8GB of storage to workaround to ensure you save only what you really like! (Not counting the bundled Donda stems). Competitively priced at $200, the Stem Player can now be ordered online. It might be a bit heavy on the pocket for those who are seeking just a temporary indulgence, but it is reasonably priced vis-a-vis most electronic music-making devices. So, get going and split Kanye’s chartbusters into stems with your own beats. Share your tracks and you never know… Kanye himself might give you a “ye!”