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Norsk Hydro confirms cyber cover in place after hack

Norwegian aluminium maker Norsk Hydro has confirmed it has cyber insurance coverage in place after being hit by a ransomware attack late on Monday and into Tuesday.

It caused the company to shut down several of its automated product lines and forced it to switch to manual operation.

On a conference call on Wednesday, Norsk Hydro’s chief financial officer Eivind Kallevik confirmed the company had cyber insurance in place. According to reports, Kallevik said this protection, which is placed with “reputable international insurance firms”, also includes business interruption coverage.

The hackers’ identity is currently unknown, though Norsk Hydro believes the attack originated in the US.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the company had not yet resumed normal operations despite having made some progress, executives told reporters.

Norsk Hydro said the company’s technical team is attempting to restart its IT systems.

According to the state cybersecurity agency, Norwegian National Security Authority, the attack involved a virus called LockerGoga that encrypts computer files.

Norsk Hydro operates in 40 companies and has over 35,000 employees.

More than one quarter of cyber claims at AIG in 2017 were a result of a ransomware attack, according to a study last year. This was a significant increase from 16 percent of claims between 2013 and 2016.

Ransomware attacks can occur on personal and corporate levels, and often involve demand for payment following disruption of a company’s operations or encryption of critical files.

One of the highest-profile ransomware attacks to hit the property market was that of US pharmaceutical giant Merck in September 2017.

Losses from Merck were thought to stem almost entirely from business interruption after it suffered worldwide disruption of its considerable operations, including manufacturing, research and sales.

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