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Wind Turbine Giant Vestas Fending Off Cyberattack

Danish wind turbine giant Vestas Wind Systems has been hit by what appears to be a ransomware attack that took out parts of its internal IT infrastructure and caused unspecified data compromise.

Vestas, which employs 25,000 at manufacturing plants all over the world, said it discovered a “cyber security incident” on Friday, November 19, and immediately shut down its IT systems across multiple business units and locations.

In an initial statement fessing up to the breach, Vestas said customers, employees and other stakeholders may be affected by the shutdown of several of its IT systems.

An updated statement released Monday confirmed the compromise of data.  “The company’s preliminary findings indicate that the incident has impacted parts of Vestas’ internal IT infrastructure and that data has been compromised. At this stage, the work and investigation are still ongoing.”

[ READ: Colonial Pipeline CEO Explains $4.4M Ransomware Payment ]

Vestas said there was no indication that the incident has impacted third party operations, including customer and supply chain operations. 

“Vestas’ manufacturing, construction and service teams have been able to continue operations, although several operational IT systems have been shut down as a precaution. Vestas has already initiated a gradual and controlled reopening of all IT systems,” the company said.

The incident has all the hallmarks of a ransomware attack where a company’s data is hijacked and encrypted and used to extort millions of dollars from victim organizations.

Vestas isn’t the first Danish multinational organization to suffer a major cyber attack. In 2017, container shipping behemoth Maersk was hit by a cyberattack that shut down its systems and ran up recovery costs in the hundreds of millions.  

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Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. He is a journalist and cybersecurity strategist with more than 20 years experience covering IT security and technology trends. Ryan has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and Kaspersky GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan's career as a journalist includes bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive's ZDNet, PCMag and PC World. Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.