Sierra Wireless halts production after ransomware attack

Visual representation of ransomware by showing encrypted files on a display
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

IoT solutions provider Sierra Wireless has been forced to halt production at its manufacturing site after being hit by a ransomware attack.

The attack took place on 20 March, and was discovered by the company three days later. Despite an immediate response from the Sierra Wireless' IT and operations teams, hackers managed to bring down its internal IT systems, disrupting the Sierra Wireless website and the internal operations of the company.

It also prompted the company to withdraw its Q1 2021 guidance, which was published on 23 February 2021 and provided information on the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 results. According to an error message, the website which contained the guidance is now “under maintenance”.

Sierra Wireless announced that it has “implemented measures to counter the attack in accordance with established cyber security procedures and policies that were developed in collaboration with third-party advisors”.

Although Sierra Wireless’ customer-facing products and services are thought to have come out fo the attack unscathed, the company has asked its customers and partners for patience “as it seeks to remediate the situation”.

The ransomware attack has also forced the company to halt production at its manufacturing sites but is hoping to resume normal operations “soon”. Although headquartered in British Columbia, Canada, Sierra Wireless maintains multiple offices and operations around the globe, including the US, Brazil, Germany, Sweden, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, France, and Hong Kong.

The amount of the ransom and the identity of the attackers is unknown at this time. IT Pro has reached out to Sierra Wireless for more information about the attack but has yet to hear back from the company.

The incident comes just days after ransomware collective REvil demanded $50 million (£36 million) from Acer, in what is thought to be the gang's most costly attack yet. The Taiwanese PC manufacturer has been given until March 28 to send over funds before any stolen data is leaked.

The Acer ransomware attack is believed to be linked to the Microsoft Exchange hack from earlier this month, which was orchestrated by 'at least ten hacker groups' and affected ‘hundreds of thousands’ of victims, including in the UK.

Sabina Weston

Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.

Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.