Merck Still Working to Get Over Petya

Monday, July 31, 2017 @ 03:07 PM gHale


One month after the Petya attack, Merck is still in the process of recovering.

Petya, which started in Ukraine in June, quickly spread across the globe and hit multiple companies in Spain, India, the UK, and the United States.

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“We confirm our company’s computer network was compromised today (last June) as part of global hack,” New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Merck & Co tweeted when the attack occurred on June 27. “Other organizations have also been affected. We are investigating the matter and will provide additional information as we learn more.”

The New Jersey-based drugmaker released the news on June 27. Internal communications instructed employees to disconnect mobile devices from the network and refrain from posting on social media, published reports said at the time.

“The company is currently experiencing a hostile ransomware attack on its network systems,” the internal communication said. “While IT risk management and global security respond to this threat please remain calm.”

The company had reported sizeable stock market gains just that day, after revealing that a promising new cholesterol drug had passed major tests.

Petya had already hit at least five other countries.

In Ukraine, the attack was being described as the biggest in the country’s history. Ukraine’s national bank, state power company and largest airport all saw their networks crash as a result.

ATMs and supermarkets were also left inoperable, flashing a message left by the hackers.

The ransomware locked users out of their computers and demanded a ransom in order to re-gain entry. The ransom in his virus is $300.

Analysts say this virus appears to function similarly to the WannaCry bug that infected more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries last month.

Now, just over a month after the attack, multiple Merck sources inside the company said the company is getting up and running, but it is still recovering from the attack.

The attack halted production of its drugs, which will also hurt its profits for the rest of the year.

The company said it does not yet understand the full magnitude of the impact as it is in the process of restoring manufacturing operations. It disclosed the attack last month, but did not disclose the manufacturing shutdown at the time.

Merck said it was confident it will be able to maintain a continuous supply of its top-selling and life-saving drugs, including cancer drug Keytruda, diabetes drug Januvia and hepatitis C drug Zepatier. But it warned of temporary delays in delivering some other products, which it did not identify.

“Full recovery from the cyber-attack will take some time, but we are making steady progress,” Chief Executive Ken Frazier said on a conference call as the company reported quarterly results.



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