The cyberattack suffered last August by oil giant Aramco, the largest oil company in Saudi Arabia, was launched by a group organized from different countries, the Saudi Interior Ministry said Sunday.

The involvement of workers at the firm in the attack aimed at damaging petroleum equipment has not been proven, the spokesman for the ministry, Mansur al-Turki, said at a press conference.

Al-Turki ruled out, meanwhile, that the attack was launched from inside Saudi Arabia and he said that it came from different countries in an organized way.

Aramco was attacked by computer pirates in August, causing substantial material damage to its electronic systems.

As a consequence, the firm's computer system was sidelined for a month, since more than 30,000 individual computers and some 2,000 servers were affected.

Aramco spokesman Abdullah al-Saadan said at the press conference that the cyberattack was aimed at preventing the arrival of petroleum and natural gas to local and international markets.

Al-Saadan also announced that the investigation into the attack had revealed the type of virus used in the strike along with its origin.

He said that the attack was carried out after several attempts over the course of a month and managed to introduce the virus into the firm's computers where it eliminated a number of company files.

Aramco, founded in 1933 as the Arabian American Oil Company and which became the full property of the Saudi state in 1988, is considered to be one of the world's most important oil companies.

The firm has the rights to exploration and production of crude in Saudi Arabia, and its activities include refining and marketing. EFE