Hackers attacked the pearl paper mill. All of the CPH Group's IT systems were shut down immediately. The paper machines as well as the packaging machines at the Müllheim site have been at a standstill until further notice. Will there be another shortage of paper?

Due to an attack on the IT systems of the paper mill in Perlen, production had to be shut down until further notice

That's what

  • Cyber ​​criminals have tried to break into the systems of the paper mill in Perlen. The production facilities therefore had to be shut down until further notice.

  • The production stop could lead to another paper shortage for Swiss newspaper publishers. As a result, several issues had to be printed in a shortened version as early as October.

  • The attack fits into the scheme of the current trend in the hacker scene: It is increasingly expected that critical supply chains Be the target of a cyber attack.

Sometime on Friday night everything suddenly had to go very quickly in the paper mill in Perlen: The monitoring systems at the Perlen site have detected an external attack on the IT systems, wrote the CPH group in an ad hoc announcement . All IT systems in the group were then immediately shut down in a controlled manner in accordance with the emergency concept. Production in the areas of paper and packaging in Perlen and at the Müllheim site were also stopped, only the chemicals area could continue to produce.

On request, the paper mill was unable to describe how the attack took place in detail. “It is still too early to make any statements about the type of attack,” says Christian Weber, spokesman for the CPH group. “We are currently in the process of restarting the systems and only then can we estimate which areas of the IT infrastructure are affected.”

Is there another threat of paper shortages?

< p>What is clear, however, is that production cannot resume until Monday at the earliest. Three days of downtime when the machines would otherwise run around the clock. The critical thing is that the paper mill in Perlen is the only one that still produces paper for newspapers in Switzerland. Like the NZZ writes, the purchasing group of the four largest Swiss publishers (Tamedia, Ringier, NZZ, CH-Media) gets almost half of the paper it needs from Perlen. In October of last year, it was possible to experience what a loss of production in Perlen would mean for the Swiss newspaper landscape. After the paper mill was temporarily shut down due to a fire, the newspapers had to thin out their print editions .

Weber cannot rule out bottlenecks this time either: “The effects are not yet clear and depend on how quickly production can be restarted. ” Over the weekend, revision work was brought forward, which would have been pending anyway.

«The next big hacking trend»

The attack fits into the scheme of what the corporate insurer Allianz Global Corporate & amp; Specialty (AGCS) in its highly regarded « Cyber ​​Report 2021 » when proclaimed “the next big hacking trend”: attacks on supply chains. Germany's largest insurer expects global supply chains in particular to be affected by such attacks. And the attacks are now much better organized. The hackers have refined their tactics and their business model, and professional hacker groups are increasingly offering their services as a service on the Internet. The ransom sums usually subsequently demanded have also risen continuously in recent years. In the meantime, the claims are in the range of 50 million euros, according to the report.

In May, for example, hackers paralyzed the systems of the US gasoline supplier Colonial Pipeline with ransomware, which at times made the gasoline supply on the entire east coast of the United States critical. However, attacks on security companies, which are actually supposed to ensure that data remains protected on their customers' computer systems, are particularly popular. In the middle of last year, hackers from the criminal group called REvil broke into an IT security company in the USA and managed to play ransomware on a number of customers' computers. Thousands of computers around the world were affected. Among other things, the Swedish supermarket chain Coop. As the BBC writes, almost all 800 shops had to be closed at times because the registers no longer worked as a result of the ransomware attack.

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teresa@ntelegram.com 1-800-268-7341

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