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Norsk Hydro Delays Financial Report Due to Cyberattack

Norwegian aluminum giant Norsk Hydro last week announced that its financial report for the first quarter of 2019 will be delayed by over one month due to the recent cyberattack that caused significant disruptions to the company’s operations.

The company has been transparent regarding the impact of the cyberattack, but it could not share too many technical details due to the ongoing law enforcement investigation. It revealed recently that the incident had caused losses of up to $41 million in the first week after the intrusion was uncovered.

Norsk Hydro delays financial report due to cyberattackIn the days following the cyberattack, Hydro said some of its operations had been running normally, but relying on manual processes to a high degree. Other units had been either completely shut down or working at lower capacity.

In its latest update, published on April 12, the company said some units still relied on manual processes, but production had reached normal or close to normal levels even in the most impacted divisions.

However, the company says it will take time for IT operations to completely return to normal. While production has been nearly completely restored, the attack has also caused disruptions to administrative processes, such as billing, invoicing and reporting. This has resulted in Hydro being forced to delay its financial report for Q1 2019 to June 5 — the original date was April 30.

The malware used in the attack, identified as LockerGoga, encrypts files and asks the impacted organization to pay a ransom in order to recover them. The ransomware has been analyzed by several companies, including industrial cybersecurity firm CyberX, which recently published a blog post on how the malware works and implications for OT environments.

In the case of Hydro, the company says it has good backups in place, which it will use to restore compromised files. The aluminum giant said it had never intended to pay the ransom and it’s unclear how much money the attackers had hoped to obtain.

“With 35,000 employees, operations in 40 countries on all continents and several thousand servers in the company, full recovery is a complex and time-consuming process. We are well on our way, but it will take time before we are fully back to normal IT operations,” said Jo De Vliegher, CIO at Norsk Hydro.

Related: Major U.S. Chemical Firms Hit by Cyberattack

Related: Industry Reactions to Norsk Hydro Breach

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing 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.