German copper producer Aurubis has announced that it suffered a cyberattack that forced it to shut down IT systems to prevent the attack’s spread.
Aurubis is Europe’s largest copper producer and the second largest in the world, with 6,900 employees worldwide, and produces one million tonnes of copper cathodes yearly.
In an announcement published on their website, Aurubis says they shut down various systems at their locations but that it has not impacted production.
“The production and environmental protection facilities at the smelter sites are running, and incoming and outgoing goods are also being maintained manually,” comments Aurubis’ announcement.
At this time, the company is still assessing the impact of the cyberattack, and is working closely with the authorities to speed up the process.
The priority now is to maintain the production volumes at normal levels and keep the raw material supply and the delivery of finished goods unruffled.
For this reason, some operations have turned to manual mode to keep the flow of incoming and outgoing goods adequate for as long as required until computer-assisted automation returns at the smelters.
Aurubis states that it’s impossible to estimate how long it will take for all its systems to return to normal operations.
Until that happens, there’s a plan to establish transitional solutions that will give the company and its customers an alternative communication channel. For now, the only way to reach Aurubis is via the phone.
While all the above carry the typical signs of a ransomware attack, Aurubis has not provided any details on its cyberattack.
However, Aurubis states that the attack “part of a larger attack on the metals and mining industry.”
BleepingComputer has contacted the company to learn more about the incident, and we will update this post as soon as we receive a response.
The last time such a large metal producer was hit by ransomware was in March 2019, when LockerGoga forced aluminum giant Norsk Hydro to shut down its IT systems.