September 28, 2019

Cyber-Attacks Disrupt the Defense Contractors, IT Systems

Defense contractors Rheinmetall AG and DCC have been struck by cyber attacks this month that have affected and affected their IT systems.

German Rheinmetall AG, with two operational parts, Rheinmetall Defense & Rheinmetall Automotive, is one of the world’s leading providers of military machinery and systems. “The 23,000 strong worldwide workforce produced revenues of 6.9 billion dollars last year,” states the press release issued today.

According to the company’s website, DCC provides infrastructure and environmental projects for Canada’s defense needs, including “contributing, contract management and associated infrastructure services.”

American Rheinmetall plants attacked by malware

“The IT infrastructure of Rheinmetall Automotive plants in Brazil, Mexico and the USA has been affected by malware attacks since late on the evening of 24 September 2019,” stated Rheinmetall AG in a press release.

As a consequence of this cyber assault, the Group’s “ordinary manufacturing procedures at these places presently undergo important disturbance” over many days. Rheinmetall AG states that this attack has not influenced the IT systems of other plants it is operating and does “all in its power to resolve the resulting disturbance in the plant concerned as rapidly as possible.

Rheinmetall AG adds that the impact on its operations estimated for that incident could result in a loss of between € 3 million and € 4 million a week beginning at week two.

DCC IT system attacks have resulted to continuing problems

Earlier this month, DCC computing systems were also impacted by a cyber attack, and some of the problems have still influenced the business.

The “cyber incident hit Defense Construction Canada’s IT systems on Wednesday 11 September,” as DCC Communication Director Stephanie Ryan revealed in an interview with Ottawa Sun.

DCC is working to restore the pre-attack status of the IT systems affected by this incident after an inquiry into the reasons and outcomes of this attack.

“There is no delay to the projects DCC manages on behalf of DND because of this incident,” added Ryan, who continued his daily activities with all business offices unbroken.

Currently there is no further information on the two cyber attacks or on the malware of the threat actors used to interrupt IT systems for the two defense companies.

Companies worldwide are being attacked

The incidents involving Rheinmetall AG and DCC are part of a lengthy list of other assaults targeting international businesses, most of them affected by supposed ransomware and cryptominer infections.

For example, Japanese optical product manufacturer HOYA Corporation had three day after a credential stealing and cryptominer malware infection from Thailand partly shut down its manufacturing lines at the end of February.

Norsk Hydro, one of the world’s leading aluminum manufacturers, was compelled to switch to manual activities in March owing to a cyber attack that supposedly disrupted LockerGoga ransomware.

Altran Technologies also had its activities in some European nations impacted by a suspected LockerGoga ransomware at the end of January. To safeguard the company’s and customer information, Altran had to shut down its network.

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