As the threat of ransomware grows, companies have felt pressed to pay massive amounts to hackers holding systems hostage. One business decided not to give in to their attackers’ demands.
Cyberattacks like the recent global attack that impacted multiple companies over the Fourth of July weekend, this spring’s disruptive attack on Colonial Pipeline and 2017’s infamous WannaCry virus are only growing in frequency and cost. The last five years especially has shown a marked increase, with attackers holding information and digital architecture hostage while demanding greater and greater ransoms.
In 2021, major critical infrastructure systems have become a favorite target of hacker organizations. The early May attack on Colonial Pipeline, a major oil provider on the East Coast, not only showed how brittle corporate cybersecurity standards can be, but also that integral businesses can potentially be extorted into paying ransoms. Colonial Pipeline paid the attackers $4.4 million (with much of it recovered by the U.S. government) and the incident led to widespread gas shortages.
But if a company can be hacked once, it stands to reason that they can be hacked again.
When Norsk Hydro, a Norwegian renewable energy and aluminum manufacturing company, recently faced a ransomware attack, they handled it in a different way. They refused to pay the ransom, and took up the task of removing the virus from the equation altogether.