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The Cost of a Malware Infection? For Maersk, $300 Million

by Nate Lord on Friday August 7, 2020

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The NotPetya fallout continues, with global transport and logistics conglomerate Maersk reporting up to $300 million in losses following a June cyber attack.

Another week has passed and another company has disclosed massive losses following a compromise by the NotPetya malware.

Close on the heels of Merck’s release of its Q2 financials, which outlined a significant drop in forecasted earnings per share due to costs stemming from NotPetya, Danish shipping and logistics conglomerate Maersk has announced a loss of $200-300 million following a June cyber attack that disrupted critical systems. The outage left Maersk unable to process shipping orders until systems were restored, freezing revenue from several of the company’s shipping container lines for weeks. In total, three of the conglomerate’s nine business units experienced disruptions stemming from the attack.

As was the case with Merck, the damages incurred by Maersk came to light in the company’s release of its Q2 financials. In an accompanying press release, A.P. Moller - Maersk CEO Søren Skou summarized the business impact of the attack:

“In the last week of the quarter we were hit by a cyber-attack, which mainly impacted Maersk Line, APM Terminals and Damco. Business volumes were negatively affected for a couple of weeks in July and as a consequence, our Q3 results will be impacted. We expect the cyber-attack will impact results negatively by USD 200-300m.”

Despite losing revenue and the costs associated with recovering from the NotPetya infection, Maersk maintains its expectations for underlying profit in 2017.

The company also assured that “no data breach or data loss to third-parties” occurred in the incident and that it has “put in place different and further protective measures and is continuing to review its systems to defend against attacks.” It did not go as far as to detail those measures, but did say that the company already had antivirus and patch management processes in place that were ineffective in mitigating the attack.

Other companies that have reported material losses following NotPetya infections this year include FedEx, who was forced to briefly freeze trading of its shares due to disruptions at its TNT Express subsidiary, Merck, who reduced its 2017 earnings per share projections by up to 36% following disruptions to its manufacturing, research, and sales operations, and global consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser, who has forecast revenue losses of £100m while its efforts to restore systems remain underway.

Tags:  Malware Cybersecurity

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