Far from your bed? Or not?

Most managers and business leaders agree that Information Security is very important. However, many of them believe that it is important ‘for the neighbors’, but that it will not happen to them. But is it really that far from our bed?

This line of thinking may have been partly correct in the past, but unfortunately recent history teaches us that it doesn’t just happen ‘at the neighbours’. Below is a summary of a number of recent, eye-catching incidents concerning Information Security that made the press and that happened eerily close by. There are also many incidents that do not make the press.

Moral of the story: be prepared so that your company can focus on your own core business.

Mitsubishi Chemicals Advanced Materials Department Hit by Ransomware

  • When: Friday 7 February 2020
  • What: ransomware
  • Impact: 20 employees had to go home (technically unemployed), the impact is probably a lot bigger than currently announced
  • Link: https://www.focus-wtv.be/nieuws/department-mitsubishi-tielt-gevangen-door-cyber attack
According to a former employee, production in the company has largely stopped and several employees are currently out of work. Branches in America, Germany and the Netherlands would also be affected, the man said. “Last Friday, everyone in the company was called to take their computer off the network, but it was already too late.”

Hackers down 1,700 computers at Atlas College in Genk

  • When: Tuesday, February 11, 2020
  • What: ransomware
  • Impact: 1,700 schools group computers unavailable
  • Link: https://www. Standaard.be/cnt/dmf20200211_04843936
Atlas College in Genk fell victim to cybercriminals, presumably from Switzerland. More than 1,700 computers in the school group’s network are unusable after cybercriminals encrypted the files. It concerns the Razor2020 ransomware, recognizable by the image of razor blades on the desktop.

Cyber attack at Belgian IT service provider SPIE ICS

  1. When: Monday, January 27, 2020
  2. What: ransomware
  3. Impact: some services are unreachable
  4. Link: https://datanews.knack.be/ict/nieuws/cyber attack-aan-de-gang-bij-belgische-it-dienstprovider-spie-ics-update/article-news-1558081.html
SPIE is an international service provider in the fields of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, air conditioning, energy and communication networks. The group has 46,500 employees and achieved a turnover of 6.1 billion euros in 2017. The company has also been working on an international IT section for several years now. SPIE also entered the Belgian market with the acquisition of Systemat in April 2018. Under the name SPIE ICS, service provider sees an important role for the cloud and IoT platform Colligo.

Municipal services of Willebroek victim of cyber attack: “Hackers demand payment in bitcoins”

  • When: Saturday, January 25, 2020
  • What: ransomware
  • Impact: municipal services unavailable for up to a week
  • Link: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2020/01/25/willebroek-cyber attack/
Saturday, January 25, 2020. A ransomware attack shuts down the municipal services of Willebroek. The cybercriminals behind it want the ransom in untraceable cryptocurrencies: bitcoins. City authorities must return to typewriters to continue serving their citizens. An initial cautious forecast assumes that municipal services could be unavailable for up to a week.

Four world shops Oxfam Bruges victims of hacking

  • When: Tuesday, January 14, 2020
  • What: ransomware, ransom 1 bitcoin
  • Impact: cash registers and accounting program unusable
  • Link: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2020/01/14/vier-wereldwinkels-oxfam-in-brugge-slachtoffer-van-hacking/
Tuesday, January 14, 2020. Belgium has not yet recovered from the news about the cyber attack on Picanol and is already receiving another report in the national press. Cyber criminals are attacking Ofxam world shops in Bruggen and demanding 1 bitcoin (about €7000) ransom.

Cyber attack shuts down Belgian loom producer Picanol

  • When: Monday, January 13, 2020
  • What: ransomware
  • Impact: all IT systems unusable, so production impossible
  • Link: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2020/01/13/cyber attack-legt-picanol-plat/

Hacking at aircraft parts company, 1,000 employees in our country are technically unemployed

Worldwide, Asco has production facilities in four countries: Belgium, Germany, Canada and the USA. Activities in those other countries have also been shut down. Asco supplies parts, especially wing flaps, to Boeing and Lockheed Martin, among others. Their parts are also used for the new F-35 fighter plane.

Aluminum Giant Norsk Hydro hit by cyberattack

  • When: Tuesday 19 March 2019
  • What: ransomware
  • Impact: Production disrupted in several locations in Europe and North America
  • Link: https://datanews.knack.be/ict/nieuws/aluminiumreus-norsk-hydro-gevangen-door-cyber attack/article-news-1442695.html
Norsk Hydro, one of the world’s largest aluminum producers, has been hit by a major cyber attack. The attack hit the multinational’s central IT system Monday night, after which the problems spread to locations in several countries. In Belgium, Norsk Hydro has fully acquired Sapa since the end of 2017, with branches in countries such as Landen and Lichtervelde.
According to the spokesperson, the company’s focus is now on ensuring the safety of its staff. (!)

André Renard hospital in Herstal victim of ransomware

  • When: Sunday, March 10, 2019
  • What: ransomware
  • Impact: Emergency service not operational for 72 hours. 70 of 120 servers encrypted, over 100 million files encrypted.
  • Link: https://www.rtbf.be/info/regions/detail_herstal-l-hopital-andre-renard-victime-d-une-attaque-informatique?id=10167133
“So the hospital has lost between 300,000 and 400,000 euros for an attack that lasted barely five hours.” – Marc Delforge, IT manager André Renard Hospital, Herstal

The company Ranson, supplier of bakery ingredients, has been hacked.

  • When: Friday 11 January 2019
  • What: ransomware
  • Impact: 300+ people technically unemployed, tens of thousands of euros ransom paid
  • Link: https://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20190114_04103201