IPG Photonics high-performance laser developer hit with ransomware

Pierluigi Paganini September 20, 2020

IPG Photonics, a leading U.S. manufacturer of high-performance fiber lasers for diverse applications and industries was hit by a ransomware attack that disrupted its operations.

IPG Photonics manufactures high-performance fiber lasers, amplifiers, and laser systems for diverse applications and industries.

The company was founded in 1990 in Russia by physicist Valentin Gapontsev, it employs over 4,000 people and has a $1.3 billion revenue in 2019.

The laser systems designed by the company were part of the U.S. Navy’s arsenal.

The news of the attack was first reported by BleepingComputer which was contacted on Monday by a source with knowledge of the attack.

The source told BleepingComputer that the ransomware attack had disrupted the operations worldwide of the company.

The attack affected email, phones, and network connectivity in the offices.

“Due to the attack, IPG Photonics IT systems are shutdown worldwide, affecting email, phones, and network connectivity in the offices.” reported BleepingComputer. “With these systems down, BleepingComputer is also being told that manufacturing parts and shipping have become unavailable.”

BleepingComputer speculates that the attack was carried out by RansomExx ransomware operators, the same gang that recently hit the IT giant Konica Minolta.

The RansomEXX is human-operated ransomware, this means that attackers manually infected the systems after gained access to the target network.

In June 2020, the same ransomware was employed in an attack on the Texas Department of Transportation.

The good news is that the RansomEXX ransom, unlike other families of ransomware, does not appear to exfiltrate data before encrypting target systems.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, IPG Photonics)

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