Ransomware attack hits Laser developer firm, IPG Photonics

RansomExx malware hits Laser developer firm, IPG Photonics
Image Credit: Pixabay

Another ransomware attack occurred in the USA last week. This time the victim was a private laser manufacturing company called IPG Photonics, which was valued at $1.3m in 2019. A ransomware group going by the name of RansomExx perpetrated the attack and reportedly left a partial ransom note after the incident.

This new ransomware group is a mutation of the Defray777 malware, and has attacked prominent institutions like the Texas Department of Transportation and business-tech giant Konica Minolta, before targeting  IPG Photonics. 

IPG Photonics produces fiber lasers for welding, cutting, medical use, and weaponry purposes. The ransomware attack has completely disrupted the supply chain operations of the leading laser manufacturer that employs over 4,000 people. 

IPG Photonics’ systems were shut down due to the attack, and all networks lost connectivity. This resulted in global stoppage of manufacturing and shipping procedures. 

Presumably, RansomExx attacked IPG Photonics with the motivation of exfiltrating sensitive data related to national security. It is noteworthy that  the laser-maker deals with the US Navy in weapons manufacture. This correlation raised eyebrows towards Russian hackers. However, the motivation of this attack seems to be completely financial. 

Ransomware attacks on the rise

The internet has become a breeding ground for ransomware groups, which have been active across the globe, transcending all industries, and in both public and private sectors. These malwares even have a dose of irony in their work – cybersecurity firms are also affected by ransomware attacks. 

Previously reported, more than 600 corporations worldwide have been affected by ransomware attacks in the last few months. 

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