Imagine a bustling factory, abuzz with activity, producing delectable cured meats and delectable ready-to-eat meals for enthusiastic customers. Suddenly, the entire operation screeches to a halt as a malicious program infiltrates the system, seizing control of vital operations. This unfortunate incident unfolded at the esteemed Fleury-Michon factory in France, causing chaos and raising concerns among both employees and consumers.
Fleury-Michon, a renowned French company specializing in the production of deli meats, cheeses, and other food products, has been a prominent player in the industry since 1978. With a workforce exceeding 1,000 employees, Fleury-Michon dominates the deli meats market in France, boasting a substantial 30% market share. Its delectable products are not confined to France alone but are sold in over 50 countries across the globe.
In October 2018, a Fleury-Michon factory fell victim to a crippling malware attack that disrupted its food production processes. Consequently, there was a shortage of Fleury-Michon products in certain countries. Fortunately, the company swiftly resolved the issue, successfully restoring production within a few days.
The distribution of Fleury-Michon products spans across Europe, with the company’s factory in Saint-Denis, France serving as a key hub. However, on Thursday, May 21, this factory was struck by a ransomware attack, resulting in a complete blockage of its computer systems. As a consequence, employees were unable to work, and production came to an abrupt halt.
Fleury-Michon stands as one of Europe’s largest providers of prepared foods, with its products widely distributed throughout the continent. Operating over 20 factories in France, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands, the company employs more than 4,000 individuals.
As a direct consequence of the ransomware attack, Fleury-Michon was compelled to cease its operations temporarily and explore alternative channels for product distribution. Fortunately, customer data remained unscathed by the attack. To address this distressing situation, Fleury-Michon is collaborating closely with law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity experts to investigate the incident, while simultaneously striving to reinstate its systems.
On another occasion, the Fleury-Michon factory encountered an obstruction when malware struck on a Wednesday, impeding the company’s product shipments. Situated in France, the factory became a target of a ransomware attack that encrypted all vital company data. Demanding a ransom of 1 Bitcoin, equivalent to approximately $7,700, the attackers aimed to coerce the company into paying to decrypt the data.
Fleury-Michon, a distinguished French food company renowned for its production of charcuterie and other prepared foods, stands as one of the oldest and largest entities of its kind in France, employing more than 3,000 individuals. Their products enjoy a wide reach, being sold in over 30 countries.
This cyber attack targeting Fleury-Michon is not the first instance where the company faced the wrath of hackers. In 2017, pro-Palestinian hackers defaced the company’s website, leaving a message advocating for the liberation of Palestine and urging people to boycott Fleury-Michon’s products.
The malware that struck Fleury-Michon’s factory prevented the facility from accessing the internet or its internal computer network. Consequently, workers resorted to using pen and paper to record production data until the issue could be resolved.
The attack commenced on March 5th, and its discovery followed the next day. In response, the factory was compelled to suspend its operations for two days to enable IT personnel to eradicate the malware and restore internet access and internal network functionality. Although production resumed on March 8th, it did so at a reduced capacity as workers adapted to the new manual methods of recording data.
Fleury-Michon is actively investigating the origins of the attack and how it managed to breach the factory’s security defenses. Meanwhile, the company is intensifying its efforts to fortify its cybersecurity measures, aiming to prevent future attacks.
Regrettably, the Fleury-Michon factory has been unable to produce any products since last week due to the malware attack. This development presents a significant predicament for the company, as the factory represents its primary source of income. Consequently, the attack has caused substantial financial damage, and Fleury-Michon is still in the process of assessing the full extent of the harm incurred.
Although the method employed by the attackers to compromise the factory’s systems remains unclear, it is believed that a phishing email was utilized to deceive one of the employees into unwittingly installing the malware.
As the company continues to collaborate with cybersecurity experts to investigate the incident and restore its systems, it has set up a temporary production line in an alternative location to ensure a continued supply of products to its valued customers.
It is undeniable that the malware attack on the Fleury-Michon factory serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of robust cybersecurity measures. This incident unequivocally demonstrates that no business is impervious to cyberattacks, compelling companies to proactively prepare for such events.
By implementing stringent security protocols, businesses can effectively minimize the risk of falling victim to malicious software and safeguard their invaluable data from compromise. Fleury-Michon has exemplified the proactive measures that should be adopted to prevent the recurrence of such unfortunate circumstances in the future.