FedEx has joined the long list of big-name brands that have lost hundreds of millions of dollars after their systems were infected with NotPetya ransomware back in June.
The shipping giant claimed in an earnings call that it would be down approximately $300m following the outbreak, which began in Ukraine and is thought to have spread quickly globally via multi-national companies’ VPNs.
Subsidiary TNT bore the brunt of the attack, with IT operations still not fully restored.
An earnings statement had the following:
“The worldwide operations of TNT Express were significantly affected during the first quarter by the June 27 NotPetya cyberattack. Most TNT Express services resumed during the quarter and substantially all TNT Express critical operational systems have been restored. However, TNT Express volume, revenue and profit still remain below previous levels.”
FedEx CIO, Rob Carter, blamed the incident on a nation state. It’s believed that Russian hackers are behind it, although definitive attribution – as always – is almost impossible.
“At the time of the attack, there was already work under way to replace TNT legacy systems with FedEx technology,” he revealed on the call.
“In the wake of the attack, these efforts have been accelerated.”
FedEx is certainly not alone in suffering huge and costly operational outages as a result of the ransomware ‘worm’ which tore across the globe from its epicenter in Ukraine.
Danish shipper Maersk also admitted the attack could cost it as much as $300m, while British Nurofen manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser revealed the outage could cost it up to £100m ($135m).
German pharmaceutical giant Merck is also expecting major losses, among other firms.
“This is a clear example that a malware attack can have a long-lasting effect, that goes well beyond the removal of the threat,” argued Lastline founder, Giovanni Vigna.
“Restoring systems at a large-scale can be both expensive and disruptive of the routine operations. Therefore, the game has shifted from being able to recover from an attack to actually preventing the attack in the first place.”
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