Manufacturing Giant Aebi Schmidt Slammed by Malware Attack

Aebi Schmidt, a major European manufacturer was the latest to be attacked by ransomware. The company is based in Switzerland, and it has a giant operation in the United States as well. The manufacturing company produces road cleaning and airport maintenance vehicles, and on Tuesday, the malware infection halted operations. The majority of the systems servers that went down were in Europe, though several US subsidiaries were hit.

According to one source who spoke with TechCrunch, the systems necessary to continue with their manufacturing operations were left inaccessible following the attack. Furthermore, the company’s email accounts were also left inaccessible. Currently, the type of ransomware that attacked the company’s system is unknown.

In today’s manufacturing sector, business is booming. Startups and established businesses alike can propel their businesses with smart parts purchasing from companies like Machinery Network, and more companies are reshoring and acquiring businesses that push their agendas and generate revenue. Aebi Schmidt had recently acquired M-B Companies in the United States – a maker of cleaning and snow machines. Before that, they’d acquired Meyer Products and Swenson Products, both winter equipment makers. Each of these acquisitions helped them expand their presence in the country.

“I can confirm that the availability of other systems was or may still be limited, our specialists are still working on resolving the issue, the cause is not yet clear,” spokesperson Thomas Schiess confirmed to TechCrunch.

Aebi Schmidt malware
Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Aebi Schmidt isn’t the first manufacturing company to fall victim to malware attacks, which have become increasingly common. A study from Panda Security found that there are roughly 230,000 new malware samples being launched every single day. Furthermore, 27% of all malware that ever existed was deployed in 2016 alone. The costs of these cyber attacks are staggering. By 2021, analysts predict that cyber crime damages could amount to $6 trillion.

In March, Norsk Hydro, a large aluminium manufacturing company was attacked, but its backup recovery process had it up and running quickly. Despite their quick recovery, their total amount of losses was around $40 million.

“While Hydro’s primary metals business and most other units were able to carry on production with workarounds and manual solutions, one of its main production units struggled to recover,” company executives explained during a news conference.

FACC, a global aircraft manufacturer, was hacked in 2016 by hackers who posed as the FACC CEO and managed to steal $54 million via an email exchange. This type of attack is referred to as a whaling attack, where the hackers can earn trust by deception.

Hanesbrands, FOXCONN, and Boeing were just a handful of other manufacturing companies that were hurt by malware attacks.

Anne Lawson
Anne Lawson is a British writer who keeps her eye on business and trending issues that affect us all. She loves to delve into the real story and give us interesting tidbits we might otherwise miss.