(Reuters) – Norsk Hydro, one of the world’s largest producers of aluminum, was battling on Tuesday to contain a cyber attack which hit parts of its production, sending its shares lower and aluminum prices higher.
The attack, which began on Monday 18 March 2019 evening and escalated overnight, affected the company’s IT systems for most of its activities.
“Hydro is working to contain and neutralize the attack, but does not yet know the full extent of the situation,” the company said in a statement.
It added that the attack had not affected the safety of its staff and it was too early to assess the impact on customers.
News of the attack pushed aluminum prices up 1.2 percent to a three-month high of $1,944 a tonne in early trade on the London Metal Exchange, before giving up some gains to trade at $1,935 by 1148 GMT.
The event was a rare case of an attack on industrial operations in Norway. The last publicly-acknowledged cyber attack in the Nordic country was on software firm Visma, when hackers working on behalf of Chinese intelligence breached its network to steal secrets from its clients.
In 2017, attacks later blamed by the United States on Russia and North Korea caused millions of dollars of damage to companies worldwide, crippling computers in industries from shipping to sweet making. Moscow and Pyongyang have denied the allegations.