Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Hadaf under virus attack

Updated 24 January 2017
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Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Hadaf under virus attack

RIYADH: Ministry of Labor and Social Development spokesman Khaled Aba Al-Khail said the ministry and the Human Resources Development Fund’s (Hadaf) electronic systems were attacked by a virus, but they are coordinating with the National Center for Cybersecurity (NCC) at the Ministry of Interior to address the problem.
Both the ministry and Hadaf have taken necessary steps for the safety of their systems, he said, adding that no significant damage was done as a result of the attack.
An alert from the telecoms authority advised all parties to be vigilant for attacks from the Shamoon 2 variant of the virus that in 2012 crippled tens of thousands of computers at Saudi Aramco.
Aba Al-Khail said the two institutions are following all the needed technical procedures and taking all measures to protect their databases, stressing that they were able to deal with (such situations) in coordination with the National Center for Cybersecurity.
He said the virus infected only some websites and some peripheral systems for users, but the databases containing customers’ information were not affected.
He said that the ministry and Hadaf’s electronic systems would be gradually running normally soon.
Jubail-based Sadara Chemical Co., a joint venture firm owned by Saudi Aramco and US company Dow Chemical, said it had experienced a network disruption on Monday morning and was working to resolve the issue.
The company made the disclosure on its official Twitter account after the warning by Al-Ekhbariya TV, which cited the telecoms authority. It did not say whether the disruption was due to a cyberattack but said as a precautionary measure it had stopped all services related to the network.
Other companies in Jubail, the hub of the Saudi petrochemicals industry, also experienced network disruptions, according to sources who were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
Those companies sought to protect themselves from the virus by shutting down their networks, said the sources, who declined to identify specific firms.
• With inputs from Reuters


Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019
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Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.