Cyber warfare doesn’t just happen in the movies. Steelcase, the American furniture giant, a multinational brand founded in Michigan in 1912, has paid the price. Despite its $ 3.7 billion in sales and 13,000 employees. And it stalled the whole machine, from design to product manufacturing. The American firm was specifically the victim of a ransomware called Ryuk. Ransomware is malicious software that blocks all of a company’s information systems. In exchange for its deactivation, the criminals who sent the software demand a ransom. Hence its name, a contraction of ransom and software. What exactly happened ?
A most unexpected attack
It was on October 27, 2020 that the group informed the Security and Exchange Committee of the cyberattack that had occurred 5 days earlier. This led to a shutdown of its information systems and networks. Steelcase provided clarification. “The company quickly implemented a series of remediation and containment measures to address this situation, conducted in-depth analysis and strengthened the security of its systems. These shutdowns of most of its global management, manufacturing and distribution and operations order systems lasted approximately two weeks. ” Activity has recently started up again but delivery delays may occur until the end of the year.
Following the incident, the US giant said that no sensitive customer information or employee data had been stolen. “The company has virtually completed its Forensic investigation and has found no evidence of an exfiltration of sensitive business data, including intellectual property or customer, supplier or employee data,” the manufacturer said.
Ryuk, a ransomware that has already done a lot of damage
Ryuk is not his first victim. This ransomware is beginning to gain disastrous fame in the media. After recently attacking Sopra Steria and the American hospital giant Universal Health Services, it continues to wreak havoc on public and private organizations, especially in the United States. The Steelcase Group has yet to confirm that this is the malware. But a cybersecurity source validated the information.
Ransoms are demanded in bitcoin, the famous virtual currency. Thus, the payments quickly become untraceable and the culprits can enjoy the sums collected without being worried by the police. The Ryuk ransomware is most likely sent by a team of hackers in Russia. For information, the campaigns for the month of March 2020 carried out by the hackers made it possible to bring in 640,000 dollars. The cyber authorities, supposed to fight against these malicious groups, are often still a train of technical delay and can only rarely intercept the authors of these attacks.
This attack comes at the worst time for Steelcase. Because confinement and remote working represent the greatest threat the furniture industry has ever faced. This is because individuals living at home do not incur the same expenses as businesses in this area. The sector experienced almost immediate drop in orders. Urgent adaptation to the new situation is beginning to emerge, as are the shared office furniture ordering solutions recently offered by Sketch in the UK. Will Steelcase recover from this mishap? Time will tell.