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Packaging Giant WestRock Says Ransomware Attack Hit Production

Atlanta-based packaging giant WestRock (NYSE: WRK) on Friday shared an update on the recent ransomware incident that impacted the company’s information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems.

Atlanta-based packaging giant WestRock (NYSE: WRK) on Friday shared an update on the recent ransomware incident that impacted the company’s information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems.

The company has been investigating the incident while working on restoring impacted systems. The response process has involved proactively shutting down certain systems and enhancing cybersecurity measures.

The incident has impacted production, but WestRock says its operations are nearly back to normal. Some tasks are being performed manually by staff until all systems are restored.

“The Company’s mill system production through February 4 was approximately 85,000 tons lower than plan,” the company said in a press release on Friday.

To put that in perspective, WestRock’s annual report for 2020 says its corrugated packaging mills had an annual production capacity of nearly 12 million tons, while its consumer packaging mills had a production capacity of nearly 4 million tons.

The company has not shared any information about the attack itself and the ransomware that was used.

WestRock said it continues to assess the overall operational and financial impact of the incident, but noted that it does have cyber insurance.

“The Company maintains a variety of insurance policies, including cyber insurance and business interruption insurance. There may be a time lag between the initial incurrence of costs and the receipt of any insurance proceeds as the Company’s operations return to normal,” WestRock said.

The company’s stock fell by roughly 4 percent after news of the breach broke, and it has yet to recover.

This was not the only recently disclosed ransomware attack that had an impact on not only IT systems, but also OT systems. Trucking giant Forward Air, which suffered a ransomware attack that hit OT and IT systems in December 2020, estimated this week that the incident would have an impact of $7.5 million.

Related: Metro Vancouver Transportation Agency TransLink Hit by Ransomware

Related: Industrial Control Systems Ripe Targets for Ransomware Attacks

Related: HR Giant Randstad Hit by Egregor Ransomware

Written By

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.

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