Aluminum producer switches to manual operations after ‘extensive cyber-attack’

Aluminium metal

Norsk Hydro, one of the world’s largest aluminium producers, revealed today that it “became victim of an extensive cyber-attack” that crippled some of its infrastructure and forced it to switch to manual operations in some smelting locations.

“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,” the company said in a message sent to investors and stock exchanges.

“IT-systems in most business areas are impacted and Hydro is switching to manual operations as far as possible,” it added.

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.

The company also said the cyber-attack did not affect “people safety.”

“Hydro’s power plants are running normally on isolated IT systems,” the company said on Facebook.

The company’s website was also down, redirecting to a temporary page showing the same investor message.

Norsk Hydro websiteNorsk Hydro website

Image: ZDNet

Norsk Hydro is one of the world’s largest producers of aluminium with operations in over 50 countries on all continents.

The company operates out of Oslo, Norway, and is the second Norwegian company to suffer a major cyber-attack in the last year after Chinese hackers breached cloud service provider Visma.

Cyber-attacks on large industrial corporations tend to happen every few months. While in most cases these end up being mundane breaches, BEC financial scams, and spear-phishing incidents, sometimes things are far worse.

One of these examples is Saipem, an Italian industrial giant active on the oil and gas sector. Last December, Saipem;s name was plastered all over the internet after a new strain of the infamous Shamoon malware was found on its IT network during a cyber-security incident.

UK-based oilfield service provider Petrofac announced a similar cyber-security incident two weeks later, but the company never revealed if Shamoon was found on its network, to either ZDNet or cybersecurity industry insiders.

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