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Railway Vehicle Maker Stadler Hit by Malware Attack

Railway rolling stock manufacturer Stadler Rail is currently investigating a malware attack that forced some of its systems offline.

Headquartered in Bussnang, Switzerland, the company produces a variety of trains (high-speed, intercity, regional and commuter heavy rail, underground, and tram trains), and trams, and has roughly 11,000 employees at over 40 locations.

Last week, the Swiss manufacturer announced that what appears to be a professional threat actor was able to compromise its network with malware and to exfiltrate an unknown amount of data.

“Stadler internal surveillance services found out that the company’s IT network has been attacked by malware which has most likely led to a data leak. The scale of this leak has to be further analyzed,” the company said in a press release.

The company did not provide details on the type of malware used in the attack, but revealed that the miscreants were attempting to extort money from Stadler by threatening to make stolen data public, in an attempt to “harm Stadler and thereby also its employees”.

The company said it immediately took the necessary steps to contain the incident and that it also engaged with an external team to launch an investigation into the matter. Authorities were also alerted.

Stadler also revealed that the affected systems were being rebooted, and underlined that its backup systems are functioning.

The company’s mentioning of systems having to be restored and of backup data suggests that ransomware might have been used in the attack.

Ransomware operators such as those behind Maze have been stealing victim data and have attempted to extort more money by threatening to make it public in the event a ransom is not paid, and the attack described by Stadler fits the pattern.

Contacted by SecurityWeek, the Swiss manufacturer refrained from providing additional details on the incident, given the ongoing investigation.

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