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The Biggest Cyber Attacks in the Manufacturing Industry

By CybelAngel Thu Jan 13, 2022

In the spirit of innovation and efficiency, manufacturers have embraced digital transformation like no other industry. Unfortunately, this has also left them vulnerable to cyber risk. To better understand what digital risks are most important in manufacturing, we can look to the biggest cyberattacks in the manufacturing industry:

#3 – FACC

FACC AG is an Austrian aerospace component manufacturer. In 2016, threat actors penetrated the FACC network then executed a “whaling” campaign targeting the C-suite and accounting departments. 

The threat actors successfully impersonated the CEO then requested the accounting department to transfer $55.8 million to complete an acquisition. Neither the acquisition nor the CEO’s email was authentic. 

A Chinese citizen was arrested in Hong Kong after receiving $4 million allegedly for laundering the dirty money. In response to the theft, FACC fired their CEO and CFO. FACC took further steps by suing their former executives for $11 million claiming they failed to protect the company. Ultimately this attack is estimated to have cost $61 million. 

#2 – Norsk Hydro

Norsk Hydro, a multinational aluminum manufacturer with operations in 40 countries, was forced to close multiple plants after a LockerGoga ransomware attack.  The ransomware attack damaged IT systems in various business functions, including smelting plants in Norway, Qatar, and Brazil.

Many details remain unclear or undisclosed but researchers believe the threat actors sourced credentials purchased on the dark web or used credentials gathered from a previous phishing attack.

It is estimated that this attack cost Norsk Hydro roughly $75 million. 

#1 -Renault-Nissan

Renault-Nissan is the automotive manufacturer conglomerate that builds and sells one in nine automobiles worldwide. In 2017, Renault-Nissan experienced a cyberattack involving the WannaCry ransomware that stopped production at five plants in England, France, Slovenia, Romania, and India. 

As is common in ransomware or other cyberattacks, the attack occurred on a Friday to take advantage of minimal staff levels. To halt the spread of the infection throughout the company’s networks, the company disconnected the infected plants from its network. By the following Monday, the affected plants were operational again. 

The company declined to disclose how the attack occurred or the costs incurred. While estimates vary regarding the total damage worldwide due to WannaCry, some speculate the losses were as high as $4 billion.

How can manufacturers prevent cyber attacks? 

When you’re manufacturing thousands to millions of units in a day, loss of time is loss of money. This is why manufacturing companies are starting to engage in a proactive approach to cybersecurity by using Digital Risk Protection Solutions. 

CybelAngel is the world-leading digital risk protection platform that detects and resolves the most critical external threats before they lead to damage. Organizations worldwide rely on CybelAngel tools such as Asset Discovery and Monitoring, Account Takeover Protection, Data Breach Prevention, Dark Web Monitoring, and Domain Protection to protect a wide array of digital risks. Schedule a meeting to learn more about how CybelAngel can protect your company.