As Gulf tensions rise, enterprises gird for more cyberattacks

Here's the latest on the malware attack reported to have been launched by Iran against Bapco, and what enterprises need to do now.

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The Gulf could soon witness another wave of cyberattacks amid soaring tensions in the region, and security experts are warning enterprises to take precautions.

Saudi Arabian authorities a week ago reported that data-wiping malware dubbed "DUSTMAN" hit a regional enterprise, later reported to be Bapco, Bahrain's national oil company. The malware was based on prior data-wipers that have been linked to Iran-based, nation-state actors.

DUSTMAN was "detonated" on Dec. 29, according to Saudi Arabia's National Cybersecurity Authority (NCSC). That was before top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in U.S. air strikes on Jan. 3. Though the DUSTMAN attack and the Soleimani killing were not related, Iran, which has warned of retaliation against the U.S., may resort to further cyberattacks that could involve the Gulf region, cybersecurity experts say.

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