Update 3/19: This article has been updated to reflect the discovery of LockerGoga ransomware in the Norsk Hydro attack.
Norsk Hydro, a major Norwegian aluminum producer, was hit with a ransomware attack that started Monday evening and worsened overnight, affecting IT systems for operations in Europe and the United States.
The attack was first detected around midnight Norwegian time on Monday, when IT experts noticed unusual activity on servers across global IT systems, said CFO Eivind Kallevik in a webcast briefing. It recognized Hydro was subject to "a serious cyberattack," which the company took measures to contain and neutralize as it spread. Hydro determined it was a ransomware attack.
Norsk has shut down multiple metal extrusion plants, which turn aluminum ingots into parts for auto manufacturers and other firms. It has isolated all plants and operations from its global network and is switching to manual procedures for some operations, Kallevik said. This includes potlines, which process molten aluminum and must always be running, Bloomberg noted. Norsk's giant smelters in Norway, Qatar, and Brazil have also switched to manual operations.
Kallevik called the incident "quite severe," noting the company's entire worldwide network is down. Primary plants in Norway are running as normal with a somewhat higher degree of manual operations. There is no indication primary plants outside Norway have been hit, he continued, but global products are having difficulty connecting to production systems, which is causing production challenges and temporary stoppages at some plants.
"[Our] main priority now is to ensure safe operations and limit the operational and financial impact," he explained. The day following the attack was spent isolating plants to ensure the virus didn't spread from one location to another. Kallevik said the company has good backup data, which will be its main strategy for restoring operations back to normal.
The Norsk cyberattack had a slight effect on the price of aluminum, which went up 1.2% to hit a three-month high of $1,944 per ton in early trade on the London Metal Exchange, Reuters reports.
Update: a spokesman for the Norwegian National Security Authority has confirmed to Reuters that Norsk was exposed to LockerGoga ransomware. This is the same ransomware CrowdStrike Intelligence asserts was involved with the infection of Altran, a French engineering company, in January of this year, says Adam Meyers, CrowdStrike vice president of intelligence.
"While details of the Norsk Hydro incident are still developing, CrowdStrike Intelligence has been able to identify a new sample of the LockerGoga ransomware that was uploaded to a public malware repository in two ZIP files from an IP address based in Oslo, Norway," Meyers says.
Read more details here.
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