Manufacturing Giant Suffers Major Cyber-Disruption

A leading global manufacturer of cranes has been hit by what appears to be a ransomware attack disrupting IT operations around the world.

Headquartered in Austria, Palfinger Group is renowned for producing hydraulic lifting and loading systems and runs scores of companies in over 30 countries.

The firm issued a brief statement on Monday revealing it is the target of an ongoing global cyber-attack.

“IT infrastructure is disrupted at the moment (including sending and receiving emails, ERP systems). A large proportion of the group's worldwide locations are affected,” it continued.

“It is not possible to estimate the precise extent and duration of the attack or its consequences at this time. Work is being carried out intensively on a solution.”

Although no specifics were mentioned about the type of attack, it would seem to fit the MO of ransomware, given the disruption being caused to the firm’s email and ERP systems.

The group’s €1.1bn revenue haul for the first three months of 2020 would certainly be enough to pique the interest of online extortionists, who are increasingly going after “big game” like Palfinger in a bid to extract larger ransom payments.

“In the manufacturing business, time is money, so the disruption of Palfinger’s IT services as well as order processing and shipment delays, translates to lost revenue. The single biggest threat to enterprises today is underestimating and failing to address cybersecurity across all of a company’s cyber and physical systems,” argued Andrea Carcano, co-founder of Nozomi Networks.

“Attackers are going after higher value targets and that includes operational networks. The remediation costs and efforts to repair the operational, financial and reputational damage caused by these attacks put a significant strain on leadership teams.”

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