19.02.2021

Palfinger back on track

Palfinger has successfully ramped production back up to normal levels and is in the process of upgrading its IT systems, having implemented system recovery efforts, following a serious disruption caused by a recent cyber-attack.

Chief executive Andreas Klauser said: "We are very happy that we have returned to normal operations. The last few weeks have been very challenging and thanks to the tireless efforts of all our employees, we have once again proven the strength that lies within our company. Finally, we can fully concentrate again on what we do best: developing and producing innovative and reliable crane and lifting solutions. Overall, we are emerging stronger from the cyber-attack."

"All 35 Palfinger production sites are running at full speed. We would like to take this opportunity to also thank our customers and business partners, who have supported us energetically during this challenging time - now we can really hit the ground running again.”

Chief financial officer Felix Strohbichler added: "Our highly standardised and centrally operated IT infrastructure enabled us to get a grip on this complex situation quickly and efficiently. We have also implemented optimisations of our IT security in the last few weeks in a very short time and earlier than previously planned. We continue to pursue the path of constant further development and standardization of our IT systems, which ensures IT security and reliability in the operating and business processes at a high level.”

What actually happened?

Palfinger was struck on January 25th by global attack that disrupted its email and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The company said at the time that a “large proportion” of its worldwide locations had been hit. It is thought that it was the subject of a Ransom Ware attack, but this has yet to be confirmed.

A statement issued at the time went on to say: “Currently, Palfinger and the majority of its sites are the target of an ongoing global cyber-attack with massive effects on its IT infrastructure. The extent and consequences of the attack cannot be assessed at this time, but intensive efforts are being made to find a solution. For the time being, Palfinger cannot be contacted via e-mail nor can it receive or process inquiries, orders, shipments and invoices. Your personal points of contact during this phase are only available by telephone.”

It added: “Palfinger is prepared for such a scenario and immediately set up a task force consisting of internal and external IT and forensics experts, who are currently conducting a thorough investigation of the incident. At the same time, the law enforcement authorities have been called in and a criminal complaint has been filed. In addition, the responsible data protection authorities in Austria and abroad have been notified. As most of our employees are currently unable to continue their work, the management board has decided to reduce all operational activities to a minimum or to suspend them where necessary. Of course, we are keeping our customers, employees and the media continuously up to date and will provide the latest information in a timely manner.”

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