Reckitt Benckiser is not a household name but it is a huge international company that makes Dettol and Durex amongst other things.
The Petya ransomware attack in June 2017 affected many companies and governments but Reckitt Benckiser had 15,000 laptops, 2000 servers and 500 computer systems rendered unusable within an hour.
This ransomware is very similar to the Wannacry ransomware attack in May 2017 that caused havoc at the NHS.
Petya gets into a system through email – someone opens an email that they shouldn’t and then the ransomware can spread from computer to computer using a technique that Microsoft issued a security patch for a long time ago. So it appears that Reckitt Benckiser did not keep their system up to date for security.
Once in the systems and spreading it is very hard to contain without simply turning all of the computers off and cleaning them of the problem one at a time.
Reckitt and Benckiser were particularly badly hit because the virus got into their manufacturing systems and halted production at numerous factories around the world.
“Consequently, we were unable to ship and invoice some orders to customers prior to the close of the quarter,” a Reckitt Benckiser spokesperson said in a statement.
The cost of £100 million is mostly the drop in the share price rather than day to day costs.
Businesses have to become much more aware of the dangers in the cyber world and their responsibility to secure their customers information and their systems.
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