Vard Hit by Cyberattack

File image courtesy Vard

Published Jun 10, 2020 5:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

Norwegian shipbuilder Vard has been hit with a ransomware encryption cyberattack, the company confirmed Tuesday.

According to local outlet Vestnesavisa, the attack affected Vard's Langsten shipyard. "It is true that Vard is affected by a data breach. But what kind of data breach and what consequences this has for the company, we do not want to comment on now. But it is a complex matter, and we are working with Kripos to solve this in the best possible way," police inspector Kjell Arne Hestad of the Møre and Romsdal Police District told E24. 

Digi.no reports that servers at the company were hit with an encryption attack, leading to downtime. The extent of the harm and the success of any remedial measures have not been disclosed.

Ransomware attacks are a growing problem for the maritime industry. Mexican oil major and offshore platform operator Pemex was hit by a ransomware attack last year, the  Port of San Diego suffered a ransomware attack in 2018, and - in the most notorious case - Maersk experienced a damaging "NotPetya" ransomware incident in 2017. After that attack, Maersk Line and Maersk's APM Terminals division needed nearly a month to restore customer-facing electronic services, and the total financial impact was estimated at about $250 million.  

Vard breaks even

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri recently acquired Vard and invested in bringing the Norwegian shipbuilder back to profitability. The measures have worked, according to Fincantieri, and Vard reached a breakeven point in the first quarter of the year.  "We did a deep, deep restructuring of Vard, both in terms of organization, the people, the processes. We reestimated cost of completion of the projects. Therefore, we cleaned up the situation. And the first quarter is a proof that what we have done so far has paid off. It is our intention to continue on this path," said Fincantieri Giuseppe Dado in a recent earnings call. 

The yard recently secured new orders for a high-end fishery vessel and an offshore wind farm service operation vessel. A wind farm cable-layer, the future Leonardo da Vinci, is currently in construction at Vard's Tulcea, Romania yard and will soon transit to the Vard Brattvag yard in Norway for final fitting-out.