Norwegian aluminum producer hit by cyberattack

  • Norwegian aluminum producer hit by cyberattack

Norwegian aluminum producer hit by cyberattack

The company shut several metal extrusion plants, which transform aluminium ingots into components for vehicle makers, builders and other industries, while its giant smelters in countries including Norway, Qatar and Brazil were being operated manually.

The firm said it was working to contain and "neutralise" the attack.

However, in an update posted on Facebook two hours after revealing the cyber-attack, Norsk Hydro said the hack actually took place late Monday evening, CET, and not Tuesday morning.

It added that the attack had not affected the safety of its staff and it was too early to assess the impact on customers.

He said Norsk Hydro has insurance for such cyberattacks.

Word of Hydro's troubles helped propel aluminum prices to a three-month high on the London Metal Exchange. Zinc smelter Nyrstar suffered a major intrusion targeting processing and mining operations earlier this year, while A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the owner of the world's biggest container shipping company, lost about $200 million to $300 million because of a cyber attack in June.

The last publicly acknowledged cyber attack in Norway was on software firm Visma, when hackers allegedly working on behalf of Chinese intelligence breached its network to steal secrets from its clients. Moscow and Pyongyang have denied the allegations.

According to recent research by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, more than two in five industrial control systems came under some form of cyber-attack in the first half of a year ago, with the main infection vector being connections to the Internet.

Hydro makes products across the aluminium value chain, from the refinement of alumina raw material via metal ingots to bespoke components used in cars and the construction industry.

"IT systems in most business areas are impacted and Hydro is switching to manual operations as far as possible", it said in a reported statement.

It's claimed that the attack has affected operations across Europe and the U.S., with some - such as its extrusion plants - being forced to temporarily shut down. The state agency is helping the company and sharing information with global bodies, yet it's too early to comment in detail, she said. She declined to comment on the nature of the attack. While the company's website was down on Tuesday, Hydro "has established Facebook as our main external communication channel", it said. The company's shares fell as much 3.4 percent before recovering to trade 0.8 percent lower by 1438 GMT.

Hydro, which has 36,000 employees in 40 countries, made a net profit of 4.3 billion Norwegian crowns ($505 million) past year on sales of 159.4 billion.