Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

Malware Attack Disrupts Merck’s Worldwide Operations

American pharmaceutical giant Merck revealed in its financial results announcement for the second quarter of 2017 that a recent cyberattack has disrupted its worldwide operations, including manufacturing, research and sales.

American pharmaceutical giant Merck revealed in its financial results announcement for the second quarter of 2017 that a recent cyberattack has disrupted its worldwide operations, including manufacturing, research and sales.

While Merck has not provided details about the incident in its financial report, the June 27 attack referenced by the company is most likely the NotPetya malware outbreak that affected tens of thousands of systems in more than 65 countries. Many of the victims were located in Ukraine, the home of a tax software firm whose product was used as the main attack vector.

Researchers initially believed NotPetya (aka PetrWrap, exPetr, GoldenEye and Diskcoder.C) was a piece of ransomware, similar to WannaCry. However, a closer analysis revealed that it was actually a wiper and it was unlikely that victims could recover their files, even if they paid the ransom.

Merck, which was named as one of the victims of the NotPetya attack shortly after the outbreak started, said on Friday that it had yet to fully assess the impact of the disruption. The company said it had still been working on restoring operations and minimizing the effects of the incident.

“The company is in the process of restoring its manufacturing operations. To date, Merck has largely restored its packaging operations and has partially restored its formulation operations,” Merck said. “The company is in the process of restoring its Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient operations but is not yet producing bulk product. The company’s external manufacturing was not impacted. Throughout this time, Merck has continued to fulfill orders and ship product.”

Merck is just one of several major companies affected by the NotPetya attack. The list also includes Ukraine’s central bank, Russian oil giant Rosneft, UK-based advertising group WPP, Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk, and FedEx-owned TNT Express.

FedEx reported last month that it had still been working on restoring systems hit by the destructive malware attack, and admitted that it may not be able to fully restore all affected systems and recover all the critical business data encrypted by NotPetya.

Reckitt Benckiser, the British consumer goods company that makes Nurofen, Dettol and Durex products, said the attack disrupted its ability to manufacture and distribute products. The firm estimated that the incident could have an impact of £100 million ($130 million) on its revenue.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Related: Industry Reactions to Destructive NotPetya Attacks

Related: NotPetya Connected to BlackEnergy/KillDisk

Related: Researchers Dissect Stealthy Backdoor Used by NotPetya Operators

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a managing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Click to comment

Trending

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join the session as we discuss the challenges and best practices for cybersecurity leaders managing cloud identities.

Register

SecurityWeek’s Ransomware Resilience and Recovery Summit helps businesses to plan, prepare, and recover from a ransomware incident.

Register

People on the Move

Kim Larsen is new Chief Information Security Officer at Keepit

Professional services company Slalom has appointed Christopher Burger as its first CISO.

Allied Universal announced that Deanna Steele has joined the company as CIO for North America.

More People On The Move

Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.

Cybercrime

A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...

Cybercrime

The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.

Data Protection

The cryptopocalypse is the point at which quantum computing becomes powerful enough to use Shor’s algorithm to crack PKI encryption.

Cybercrime

As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.

Identity & Access

Zero trust is not a replacement for identity and access management (IAM), but is the extension of IAM principles from people to everyone and...

CISO Strategy

SecurityWeek spoke with more than 300 cybersecurity experts to see what is bubbling beneath the surface, and examine how those evolving threats will present...

Cybercrime

Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group informed some customers last week that their online accounts had been breached by hackers.