HomesecurityIPG Photonics: Ransomware attack on the laser development company!

IPG Photonics: Ransomware attack on the laser development company!

IPG Photonics, a leading US fiber laser development company for cutting, welding, medical use and laser guns, has been attacked by ransomware that has affected its operation. IPG Photonics, based in Oxford, Massachusetts, has branches around the world, employing more than 4.000 people, and in 2019 had revenues of $ 1,3 billion.

The company's lasers have been used as part of the US Navy's Laser Weapon System (LaWS) installed on the USS Ponce. This system is an experimental defense weapon against small threats and vehicles.

IPG Photonics laser company

BleepingComputer reported last Monday that it had contacted a source familiar with the attack and confirmed that it was a ransomware attack that disrupted the company's operations.

Due to the attack, IPG Photonics' IT systems are shutting down worldwide, thus affecting email, telephones and connection of offices in networks. As these systems are currently out of order, spare parts and shipping are not available.

ransomware attack with Ransom X

A ransom note that seems to have been left by hackers at the laser development company, shows that his team is behind this attack RansomExx ransomware, also known as Ransom X. RansomExx was first spotted in July when Japanese technology company Konica Minolta Inc. was also attacked services were shut down for about a week. RansomExx is believed to be the newest version an earlier form of ransomware called Defray777.

As with the Konica Minolta attack, the ransom note to IPG Photonics stated that the company should not contact the authorities as ransom payments could be blocked. The note also stated that the victim must send one file affected so as not to be encrypted, as proof that those behind the attack can fulfill their promise.

ransomware attack

The attack on IPG Photonics has an impact on their national security USA. The company, while developing fiber lasers for cutting, welding and medical use, is also developing laser weapons for the country's defense forces. IPG Photonics is a major developer of laser warfare technology and its technology has been developed by the US Navy in the USS Ponce.

Although it is speculated that those behind RansomExx and Defray777 are Russian statesmen hackers, the motives for the attack appear to be financial.

Andrea Carcano, co-founder of business technology and internet at security company Nozomi Networks Inc, told SiliconANGLE that the ransomware attack on IPG Photonics underscores a worrying trend in the field of threats. Hackers demand higher ransoms and target larger and more important organizations. These threats should be of concern to security professionals responsible for maintaining not only IT networks but also OT and IoT networks.

ransomware ransom attack

Carcano added that the interruption of IT services, as well as the time of interruption of production and delays in shipments, translate into a loss of revenue. In addition, the proliferation and complexity of ransomware attacks signals the growing need for organizations to take the necessary measures to secure their systems. Carcano also stressed that victims should not pay ransom demanded by hackers, as in this way they support them financially to carry out other attacks in the future.

To avoid such problems, Carcano suggested that organizations develop artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that can help detect cyber threats in real time and resolve issues before damage occurs. In particular, he stressed that with the right technology and a focus on best practices, organizations can increase visibility, as well as operational defense and resilience.

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.