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Ransomware shuts down production at Flemish multinational

A cyber-attack partially incapacitated operations at West Flemish weaving machine producer Picanol.  Plants in Ieper (Belgium), Romania and China are hit.

Overnight Picanol received the news that Chinese colleagues had been unable to log onto several IT systems.  Also in Ieper there were problems.

Picanol communications director Frederic Dryhoel speaks of an attack using ransomware.  This is malware that locks out the company from its own IT systems.  Cybercriminals then demand a ransom in order to unlock the systems.

Large segments of Picanol production are at a standstill.  The company’s entire production process is managed by computers.  Each department is now looking how it can continue working.

Picanol employs 2,300 including 1,600 in Ieper (West Flanders) and has 14 plants worldwide.

Aircraft parts manufacturer of Zaventem was the victim of a similar attack last summer.  The disruption lasted for several weeks.  Antwerp University has also been affected by a ransomware attack in the past.

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