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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.

Go deeper

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro.

4 hours ago - Health

5 times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began

Photo: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.