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Appliance Maker Whirlpool Suffers Ransomware Attack

By January 5, 2021May 5th, 2022Cybersecurity

In 2020, hackers around the world have increasingly gravitated to ransomware as their preferred method of attack. This year, there have been dozens of high-profile, successful attacks on companies around the world.

Whirlpool, one of the largest home appliance manufacturers in the world, is the latest company to fall victim to this type of attack.

The company is truly one of the titans in the industry, with nearly sixty locations scattered around the world and employing nearly 80,000 people. Unfortunately, their impressive size made them a tempting target. In their case, the hackers that breached their system utilized the Nefilim ransomware strain, managing to exfiltrate a variety of sensitive data before encrypting files on a number of company servers.

It has become increasingly common for hacking groups to publish some or all of the data they steal in a bid to hurt the company they attacked, and that’s precisely what happened in this case. Thus far, the leaked data has included documents relating to accommodation requests, medical information requests, background checks, employee benefits and more.

There’s no doubting that the publication of these documents are damaging to the company, but based on Whirlpool’s investigation into the matter, the scope and scale of the data breach was quite small. Only a handful of corporate servers were infected and the files that were encrypted didn’t impact the company’s operations in any way.

It should also be noted that the hackers who control the Nefilim strain aren’t terribly active, tending to only make occasional attacks targeting larger corporations. Other recent victims include Luxottica, The Dussman Group, Orange S. A. and the Toll Group.

At this point, all of the impacted Whirlpool servers have been fully restored, but the damage is done. It remains to be seen if the hackers behind the attack will publish more data, or if they’ve already released everything they stole. Stay vigilant. Your firm could be next.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.