Tag Archives: NotPetya

The Cost of Cyber Breaches

Earlier this week Merck said that the NotPetya is going to cost them and the numbers are staggering.

In last Friday’s earnings call Merck said that NotPetya has impacted third quarter results to the tune of around $300 million.  That includes $135 million in lost sales and $175 million in costs.

But that is not all.  They also said that they anticipate a similar impact to revenue and costs in the fourth quarter.

That means in just this year alone, it could cost Merck $600 million plus. It is likely that the costs will not end with the turning of the calendar page to January.

Also likely is that they have cyber insurance, but that might pay $100 million and could be a whole lot less than that.  That could leave Merck with having to write a check for a half billion dollars. Or more!

Moving on to the Wannacry attack, The Guardian is reporting that hackers moved 108,000 British Pounds out of a few Bitcoin wallets that people paid ransoms into.  Note that this is not what it cost people to deal with Wannacry, but rather what they paid the attackers.

Since Bitcoin is not anonymous (in fact it is anything but, which is why, months later, we know exactly each and every withdrawal from the Bitcoin wallet virtually instantly), the police are tracking those transactions and may be able to figure out who is moving the money.

As the British Health Services (NHS) are doing an after attack review from Wannacry, the story that is coming out is that they could have avoided the attack if they had implemented basic cyber security practices.

As far back as 2014 the Department of Health and the Cabinet told NHS that they needed a robust plan to migrate away from old software (like Windows XP) and in March and April 2017 (a month or two before the attack) NHS Digital issued a critical alert for NHS organizations to install the patches needed to stop Wannacry in its tracks.  Those patches were not installed.  NHS blamed cost cutting measures from reducing resources needed to manage their systems.

NHS Digital had conducted on site assessments of 88 out of 236 of the health trusts in England.

NONE PASSED.

But NHS Digital has no enforcement powers to make anybody fix the problems.

Bottom line is that these attacks can be tremendously costly and in many cases, simple measures would have mitigated the attacks, possibly completely.

Information for this post came from Tech Republic, The Guardian  and another Guardian article.

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Maersk Says Ransomware Will Cost Them $200-$300 Million

In case you thought that people were overhyping the effects of ransomware,  perhaps you should rethink that.

The Maersk shipping line, which runs container ships and ports around the world, among many other businesses, had to shut down some of their port operations after computers were infected with the NotPetya ransomware.

This week Maersk’s CEO says that the ransomware attack is expected to cost them between $200 and $300 million dollars due to lost business.  At this point no lawsuits have been filed but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any and if there are, that would add to the cost.

That is in spite of the fact that they say that no third-party data was lost.  Does that wording mean that they lost no customer data but did lose company data?  They are not saying.

They are saying that they have added more security measures as a result of having to shut down their port operations.

Another company, Merck, says that it STILL has not fully recovered from the attack and said that the attack affected manufacturing, research and sales worldwide.

Part of Merck’s costs are going to be due to losses related to their active pharmaceuticals ingredient operations which “grow” certain ingredients.  If the computers that control them go offline, it could affect the entire batch and depending on how long it takes to recover from that, it could dry up the supply chain for certain products.

Merck says that it does not yet know the magnitude of the impact on operations.  I think it is safe to say that if they have not recovered from the outage after SIX WEEKS, the cost will be significant.

And last week, Fedex said that the cost of their downtime, missed delivery and lost business due to NoyPetya will be MATERIAL to their full year profit and loss.

So here we have three very profitable multi-nationals with sophisticated IT operations and who were affected by this recent ransomware. They are all saying that it will cost them a lot of money.

It is reasonable to conclude that if you are not ready to respond to a ransomware attack – of which there are at least hundreds every day – that your operations could be impacted and your finances will likely take a hit.

As the Boy Scouts say – BE PREPARED!

Information for this post came from CNBC and Threatpost.

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