Saudi Arabia was just hit by its second cyberattack in three months.
The kingdom sent out an alert on Monday for organizations to be vigilant after a new attack targeted the labor ministry. A chemicals firm also reported a "network disruption," according to Reuters.
Sadara Chemical Co, a joint venture firm owned by Saudi Aramco and U.S. company Dow Chemical, experienced the disruption on Monday morning but said they are working to resolve the issue. The labor ministry confirmed there had been a cyberattack, but said it did not impact data.
Riyadh is specifically concerned about the virus Shamoon 2, which has previously cost the kingdom tens of thousand of computers. The virus cripples computers by wiping their disks.
Thousands of computers were destroyed in a November hack
The kingdom's General Authority of Civil Aviation was the main victim of an attack in November, with thousands of computers destroyed. Energy, manufacturing and transportation sectors were also caught in the crossfires, according to CNN.
"The attacks aimed at disabling all equipment and services that were being provided. The attackers were stealing data from the system and were planting viruses," the Saudi state news agency said.
Although the aviation agency received the brunt of the cyberattack, only office administration systems were affected. Air travel, airport operations and navigation systems continued normally, according to Bloomberg.
Saudi Aramco experienced the worst hack in world history in 2012
In 2012, a cyberattack on Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil giant Aramco destroyed 35,000 computers. It has been called the worst hack in world history.
The hack erased data on three-quarters of the companies computers and replaced everything with an image of a burning American flag, according to The New York Times. In order to counter the attack while it was happening, every office of the company was unplugged from the Internet, but the damage was already done.
It took some five months for Aramco to bring its computer networks fully back online, with significantly expanded cyber security, of course.
Experts have pointed fingers at Iran
U.S. officials pointed fingers at Iran for the massive attack on Aramco in 2012. It was believed to be a response to Saudi efforts to interfere with Iranian systems controlling its oil business.
Similar accusations were made following the November hack.
Dmitri Alperovitch, the co-founder and chief technology officer of the security firm CrowdStrike, wrote in a blog post that while the motives are "unclear" the attack coincides with "multiple geopolitical events" in the region. The attack happened ahead of the 171st meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) conference in Vienna that led to a consensus on oil prices.
CrowdStrike's vice president said that "it's likely they will continue," referring to cyber attacks on the kingdom.