“The Situation Is Quite Severe”: Aluminum Giant Norsk Crippled By Massive Ransomware Attack…(I Can Relate!)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Tue, 03/19/2019

Two years after some of the world’s biggest corporations were hit by the WannaCry virus which morphed into the “biggest ransomware attack in history”, and which subsequently was found to have been created with NSA hacking software, on Tuesday, Norsk Hydro ASA, one of the world’s biggest aluminum producers, said it had suffered widespread production outages after a ransomware attack affected operations across Europe and the U.S.

Norsk Hydro: Hydro subject to cyber-attack

Hydro became victim of an extensive cyber-attack in the early hours of Tuesday (CET), impacting operations in several of the company’s business areas.

IT-systems in most business areas are impacted and Hydro is switching to manual operations as far as possible. Hydro is working to contain and neutralize the attack, but does not yet know the full extent of the situation.

The company called the situation “quite severe” and was still working to contain the effects of the attack, according to Bloomberg. Norsk couldn’t detail how much output had been impacted, but said the so-called potlines, which process molten aluminum and need to be kept running 24 hours a day, had switched to manual mode.

The cyber attack on Hydro began late Monday, escalating during the night, a spokeswoman said. Hydro, which also has major utility assets, said on its Facebook page that power plants are running normally on isolated IT systems. While the company’s website was down on Tuesday, Hydro “has established Facebook as our main external communication channel,” it said.

The attack comes as Hydro is in a protracted struggle to restart its Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil amid claims of environmental damage after flooding. The disruptions have weighed on the company’s shares, which are down 25 percent over the past year.

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