NotPetya Cyber Attack Costs Maersk At Least $200M




A quick-hit cyber attack may end when the kill switch is found, but the impacts last for a very, very long time.

Just ask global shipping and logistics enterprise A.P. Moller-Maersk, whose computer systems fell victim to the NotPetya cyber attack in late June. The business announced in its August financial report about Q2 that it had suffered a financial hit because of the attack.

“In the last week of the quarter we were hit by a cyber-attack, which mainly impacted Maersk Line, APM Terminals and Damco,” the statement read. “Business volumes were negatively affected for a couple of weeks in July and as a consequence, our Q3 results will be impacted. We expect that they cyber-attack will impact results negatively by 200-300m.”

Maersk isn’t the only global business seeing massive repercussions from the swift-moving attack. FedEx also announced its TNT Express International courier division – which was acquired for $4.8 billion in May of 2016 – was continuing to experience widespread service delays a full month after the attack, which was due to employees having to revert to manual processes to accomplish work tasks.

While FedEx didn’t name a total figure the way Maersk did, it said in its form 10-K statement, “Our 2018 results will be negatively affected by our TNT Express integration and restructuring activities, as well as the impact of the TNT Express cyberattack.”

As previously reported by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, much like the WannaCry ransomware attack in May, this NotPetya virus spread far and wide quickly, going after older, unpatched Microsoft operating systems. Similarly to WannyCry, the attack began in the EU, but quickly hit dozens of countries before news and awareness was spread.

According to the New York Times, more than 12,500 machines running older Windows platforms were hit in the Ukraine, and from there touched 64 more countries by end of day Tuesday. Enterprises who’ve confirmed they were hit including pharmaceutical giant Merck; Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk; Russian energy company Rosneft; American food company Mondelez International; and a unit of BNP Paribas bank, among others.

When infected, users were hit with a red screen alerting them that their hard drive had been locked down, and instructed victims to download the Tor Browser and enter a personal decryption code (provided on the alert). According to CNNMoney, the attack was seeking $300 in Bitcoin to unlock the files, but also said the email address associated with the attack was blocked, so even if victims paid, files would not be unlocked.

Global cyber attacks are wreaking havoc and, as seen with enterprises like Maersk and FedEx, can make long-lasting impacts on even the largest organizations. A recent report by Lloyd’s of London cited global cyber attacks having as much financial effect as one of the worst natural disasters of all time, 2012’s Superstorm Sandy.

“To date, no computer has been created that could not be hacked – a sobering fact given our radical dependence on these machines for everything from our nation’s power grid to air traffic control to financial services,” said Marc Goodman, advisor to Cyence in a statement. “Economic losses are growing exponentially and all companies need a strategy to mitigate cyber risk in today’s world.”