Atlanta-Based Packaging Giant WestRock Shared Ransomware Incident


On Friday, Atlanta-based packaging giant WestRock (NYSE: WRK) posted an update on the latest ransomware case that disrupted the information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) networks of the company.

While focusing on repairing the damaged systems, the company reviewed the incident. Proactively shutting down such processes and strengthening cybersecurity initiatives have been included in the response process.

Output has been disrupted by the incident, but WestRock claims its activities are almost back to normal. Some activities are carried out manually by workers before all services are restored.

“The production of the company’s mill system through February 4 was about 85,000 tonnes lower than scheduled,” the company said in a press release on Friday.

In order to put that in context, WestRock’s 2020 annual report notes that its corrugated packaging mills had an annual production capacity of almost 12 million tonnes, while its consumer packaging mills had a production capacity of almost 4 million tonnes.

The organisation has not disclosed any details about the attack itself and the malware that was used.

WestRock said that the potential operating and financial impact of the incident needs to be evaluated, but noted that it has cyber protection.

A number of insurance plans, including cyber insurance and business interruption insurance, are maintained by the insurer. As the company’s activities return to normal, there could be a time gap between the actual incurrence of costs and the recovery of any insurance proceeds, WestRock added.

After news of the breach broke, the company’s shares dropped by nearly 4 percent, and it has yet to rebound.

This was not the only ransomware attack recently revealed that had an impact on not only IT networks, but also OT systems. This week, trucking giant Forward Air, which experienced a ransomware attack in December 2020 that struck OT and IT networks, reported that the incident would have an effect of $7.5 million.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.