Crown Equipment cyberattack confirmed, manufacturing disrupted for weeks

Ohio-based Crown Equipment, which is among the largest industrial and forklift truck manufacturers in the world, has become a victim of a cyberattack “by an international cybercriminal organization,” the company has finally confirmed to its employees on Tuesday.

Crown Equipment cyberattack

The confirmation came nine days after the company’s network went down (on June 9) and eight days after its manufacturing plants came to a standstill (on June 10), as reported as reported by German security blogger Günter Born.

The Crown Equipment cyberattack

According to the letter received by the employees (and published by Bleeping Computer), the investigation discovered that the hackers managed to break into their system because an employee allowed unauthorized access to their device. (The explanation aligns with previously shared hearsay.)

The company also said that many of the security measures they had in place limited the amount of data the criminals were able to access, and that they have “not seen any signs” that employee information was targeted.

Much is yet unknown, as the privately owned company has chosen to keep their cards close to their chest.

The FBI has been enlisted to help and it seems that external cybersecurity experts have also been called in. The company has been bringing some of IT systems online, but manufacturing will be down until June 24, according to the latest reports by affected employees.

Likely repercussions

Rumors – unconfirmed by the company – say it was a ransomware attack. The actual scale of compromise remains to be seen: it is, of course, possible that it was limited and the disruption was mainly because Crown reacted quickly to shut everything down before the malware had a chance to spread.

It’s also possible that the long recovery timeline is down to making sure that systems have been cleaned before getting them back online, and not because backups have been encrypted.

In the meantime, it’s obvious that the company’s reputation with employees has been damaged, as they have been left hanging for days with no or unsatisfactory explanations regarding the downtime and how it will affect their paycheck.

The manufacturing standstill will surely affect the company’s profits, but the repercussions will also be felt by businesses whose day-to-day work relies on Crown being fully operational.



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