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Norwegian Smelter Cyber Attack Hackers

Norwegian Smelter Norsk Hydro Taken Offline as Hackers Exploit Security Loophole

Norsk Hydro Suffers Major Cyber-Attack

One of the world’s biggest aluminium producers has been hit by a major cyber-attack.

Early this Tuesday, Norsk Hydro became aware of malicious ransomware which had seemingly infected the business overnight. With most of the company’s systems now compromised, Hydro is relying on manual operations to continue business, with their website taken offline and replaced with a notification about the breach.

Hydro error messageAnecdotal reports suggest that the attack is the result of a relatively new infection knows as “Lockergoga ”, though spokesman Halvor Molland could so-far only confirm that the IT department was “working to contain the impact” with assistance from Norway's National Security Authority.

The untimely nature of the Hydro attack only adds to its cruelty, with the infection coinciding with the appointment of the company’s new CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim and causing Hydro’s share price to drop by 2.0%.

In January, LockerGoga was implicated in an attack on French engineering consultancy Altran Technologies, affecting their operations in Europe and forcing them to shut down their network. The Malware locks all computer files and generates a .txt file containing instructions (or rather, demands) on how to unlock them – all with a suitably condescending tone:

Greetings!

There was a significant flaw in the security system of your company.
You should be thankful that the flaw was exploited by serious people and not some rookies.”

The perpetrators claim that they can undo the attack with a hefty bitcoin donation, signing off on the stern condition that

“…the final price depends on how fast you contact us”. And while victims will apparently receive “…instructions on how to improve system security”, it’s hard to look upon it as a fair trade.

Hydro’s emergency reliance on manual systems and the forced shutdown of its own website has more than a whiff of last month’s Bank of Valletta attack, which saw the Maltese firm become victims of a large-scale money-siphoning attempt. In response, the bank shut down every system on its network.



 

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