The Conti ransomware group is back at it again.
This time, the notorious ransomware hacker collective has attacked the wind turbine company Nordex. According to BleepingComputer, the company was forced to shut down all of its IT systems and all remote access to their turbines earlier this month, in order to stave off the attack.
(Photo : Karsten Würth from Unsplash)
A cyberattack has hit Europe, toppling down 5,800 wind turbines offline, which result in a huge-scale internet outage.
But while this might not sound too much of a concern, Nordex is actually one of the biggest renewable energy companies in the world. To date, it employs over 8,500 people worldwide and has been in the wind turbine business for over 35 years.
A cyberattack on such a large company is a massive blow to the world’s drive for increased reliance on renewable energy.
In an official statement, Nordex confirmed that the attack from the Conti ransomware group was detected during its early stages. By the time the intrusion was identified, the company decided to shut down all of its IT systems covering several locations as a precautionary measure. This also includes the remote access to all turbine infrastructures.
Further updates from the wind turbine company also stated that the attack was limited to their internal IT systems. They said there was “no indication” of the breach affecting any other external assets related to their customers.
Conti Claims Responsibility
At first, Nordex likely couldn’t say who orchestrated the attack. But eventually, the notorious ransomware group claimed responsibility for the breach. Despite this, there is no indication that the group managed to steal any actual data, or even a hint that Nordex themselves are somehow negotiating with the hackers.
In an official press release, Nordex claimed that they have already implemented an “incident response team” to manage the issue and prevent it from further spreading to the rest of their IT systems. “Customers, employees, and other stakeholders may be affected by the shutdown of several IT systems,” Nordex said.
(Photo : Unsplash/Kevin Ku)
Read Also: REvil, Russia’s Notorious Ransomware Group, Disappeared Without a Trace
The Renewable Energy Sector’s Battle With Cybercrime
Renewable energy is good. It brings with it a ton of benefits for the entire world, but it also brings with it an increased vulnerability to cybersecurity risks, writes ZDNet. And this Conti ransomware group attack on Nordex is no different.
But why are hackers even targeting the renewable energy sector in the first place? Every ransomware group can have their own reasons for doing so. But one thing remains the same: the digitalization of the sector as a whole is what opens it up to potential cyberattacks from people who may be looking for financial gain, or from those who just want to watch the world burn.
This problem can be blown up even more by companies who may be “tempted” to not prioritize their cybersecurity efforts as much. According to WIRED, some companies might think that bringing their products to market ASAP might be more important than even the most basic security protocols, which then opens them up to attacks like this from Conti and other threat actors.
(Photo : ROB ENGELAAR/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
A laptop displays a message after being infected by a ransomware as part of a worldwide cyberattack on June 27, 2017 in Geldrop. – The unprecedented global ransomware cyberattack has hit more than 200,000 victims in more than 150 countries, Europol executive director Rob Wainwright said May 14, 2017. Britain’s state-run National Health Service was affected by the attack. (Photo by Rob Engelaar / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT
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Written by RJ Pierce
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