3 min read

It was later last month on 19th March, when Norsk Hydro ASA, a Norwegian and one of the world’s largest aluminum producer firm, had to halt its production due to a cyber attack that impacted its operations across Europe and the U.S.

Earlier this week, the firm shared a video on YouTube, highlighting how the employees of Magnor Extrusion in Norway (one of the 160 hydro sites affected by the cyber attack) went out of their way to keep the plant up and running during crucial times.

“With a tremendous effort of our colleagues at Magnor, the plant has managed to get production up to 100% of normal production, despite operating in normal mode”, states the video.

Olav Schulstad, Production Manager at Magnor mentions that people have been very supportive in the firm and volunteered to help without even being asked. Also, Frode Halteigen, an operator at Magnor, mentioned in the video that all the employees including the people on the shop floor sacrificed time with their families and weekends, to be able to get the operations back in shape.

                                    Cyber Attack on Hydro Magnor

In fact, many employees also took unconventional roles to help out on the shop floor. For instance, Mads Madsstuen is an Area Sales Manager but is helping out with the shop floor in the plant.

Post-attack, Norsk Hydro kept providing updates on the attack to inform the public about progress made in securing safe and stable operations across the company.

“With a systematic approach our experts are step by step restoring business-critical IT based functions to ensure stable production, serve our customers and limit financial impact, while always safeguarding our employee’s safety,” said Eivind Kallevik, CFO, Norsk Hydro in an update posted on March 21st.

As per the update, the root cause of the problems had been detected, and a cure had been identified. Hydro’s experts have been working since then on bringing the virus infected systems back to a pre-infected state. The firm also called in experts from Microsoft and other IT security partners to help Hydro take all necessary actions in a systematic way to get business back in normal operation.

“Hydro has experienced good progress over the weekend and continues to approach normal operations after the cyber attack. Our focus so far has been technical recovery. This week we are moving on to business and operation recovery”, Hydro updated earlier this week.

Norsk Hydro lost over $40 million in the week following the cyber attack as it incapacitated most of its operations. It decided to switch the units to manual operations after the company’s IT systems had been attacked and blocked with ransomware, called LockerGoga.

LockerGoga is a new and evolving ransomware that could have infected the systems at Norsk via stolen remote desktop credentials, phishing or a nonupdated targeting software reports Chemistry World. Other two US-based chemical companies, namely, Momentive and Hexion, have also suffered cyber attacks due to LockerGoga.

The video states that thousands of people at Hydro around the world, are working day and night to fix the operations, showing a “true display of care, courage, and collaboration”. It sheds light on the indefatigable fervor of the Nosk Hydro employees and how the firm has managed to foster a work culture that many companies should aspire to.

The video also shows behind-the-scenes of how challenging it becomes for the employees within a company to recuperate with the reality of such extensive cyber attacks in terms of both financial and operational constraints.

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Tech writer at the Packt Hub. Dreamer, book nerd, lover of scented candles, karaoke, and Gilmore Girls.