Dec 13, 2018

Shamoon malware attack confirmed by hacked Italian energy firm

The Saipem FDS 2 moored off Cyprus. Photo: Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty Images

Two days after researchers identified a new variant of Shamoon, an Italian oil drilling company admitted the infamous malware was used in an attack against the company earlier this week.

Why it matters: Shamoon is destructive malware that has only been seen in the wild three times since 2012 (and one of those is in dispute), including some of the most famous cyberattacks in history. Its return has raised eyebrows.

Saipem, the Italian energy firm, now says an attack it announced on Monday "hit servers based in the Middle East, India, Aberdeen and, in a limited way, Italy through a variant of Shamoon malware."

Shamoon is wiper malware, meaning that it renders files unusable in bulk. Chronicle, Alphabet's cybersecurity arm, has identified several anomalies in the new sample as compared to past attacks.

  • Most victims of Shamoon have been in the oil and gas industry.

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.