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Aluminium producer Hydro was hit by a cyber attack, disables certain plants

OSLO (Reuters) – Norsk Hydro, one of the world’s largest producers of aluminium, was battling Tuesday to contain a cyber attack against a part of its production, sending its shares lower, and aluminum prices are higher.

FILE PHOTO: An aluminium coil is seen during the opening of a production line for the automotive industry in a subsidiary of the Norwegian Hydro aluminum company in Grevenbroich, Germany, May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Wolfgang rattay/File Photo

The company has concluded a number of metal extrusion plants, which transform aluminum ingots into components for the auto-makers, builders, and other industries, while the giant smelters in countries such as Norway, Qatar and Brazil were operated by hand.

The attack, which began on Monday evening and escalated during the night, have an impact on the IT systems for most of its activities.

“Hydro Is working to contain and neutralize the attack, but does not yet know the full extent of the situation,” the company said in a statement.

It added that the attack did not affect the safety of its staff, and it was still too early to assess the impact on the customers.

News of the attack pushed aluminium prices to as much as 1.2 percent to a three-month high of $1,944 a ton in the beginning of trading on the London Metal Exchange, before giving up some gains to trade at $1,935 by 1148 GMT.

The event was a rare case of an attack on industrial activities in Norway. The last publicly acknowledged cyber attack in the Scandinavian country was on the Visma software company, when hackers acting on behalf of the Chinese intelligence violated its network to steal secrets from its customers.

Businesses and governments increasingly concerned about the damage hackers can cause to industrial systems and critical national infrastructure after a number of high-profile cyber-attacks in recent years.

In 2017, attack later the debt by the United States, Russia, and North Korea caused millions of dollars of damage to companies around the world, paralyzing the computers in the sectors of shipping, to sweet. Moscow and Pyongyang have denied the allegations.

Related Coverage

  • Hackers demanded ransom money from Norsk Hydro to stop cyber-attack: NRK
  • Norway says Norsk Hydro has been exposed to LockerGoga ransomware attacks

In Ukraine, meanwhile, the authorities have seen hackers knock power grids and transportation systems offline, and an attack on the Italian oil services firm Saipem at the end of last year destroyed more than 300 of the company’s computers.

OF CARS IN THE CONSTRUCTION

Hydro products across the aluminium value chain, of the refinement of alumina raw material via metal rods to custom-made parts are used in the automotive and construction sectors.

“Some extrusion plants that are easy to stop and start have chosen to temporarily shut down the production,” said Hydro spokesperson.

The company’s hydro-electric power stations were running as normal on isolated IT systems are not affected by the outage.

The Norwegian state agency in the costs of cyber security said Hydro contact with them early on Tuesday and that was the assist of the company.

“We are … the sharing of this information with other sectors in Norway and with our international partners,” said a spokeswoman for the Norwegian National Security Authority (NSM). She refused to comment on the nature of the attack.

Norsk Hydro’s website page is not available on Tuesday, although some of the web pages that belong to the subsidiaries can still be used. The company gave updates about the situation on her Facebook page.

“Hydro’s main priority now is to reduce the impact of the attack and the continuation of the people’s safety,” it wrote in a Facebook post.

FILE PHOTO: Concrete tubes connecting the bauxite residue deposit at the water treatment plant are shown on the alumina refinery Alunorte, owned by the Norwegian company Norsk Hydro ASA, in Barcarena, Para state, Brazil, March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes/Photo File

Hydro shares fell 3.4 percent in early trading before a partial recovery for the trade to 0.6 percent by 1148 GMT. It was still lagging the Oslo benchmark index up 0.8 percent.

Hydro, which has 36,000 employees in 40 countries, recorded revenues of 159.4 billion kroner ($18.7 billion) last year, with a net profit of 4.3 billion crowns.

Additional reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis in Oslo, Jack Stubbs and Barbara Lewis in London; editing by Keith Weir, Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Kirsten Donovan

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