Hacker attack on Eberspächer Group
Esslingen, 26, November – On Sunday 24 October 2021, the Eberspächer Group was the victim of a targeted cyber-attack in which parts of the automotive supplier's IT infrastructure were affected. In order to protect customers, employees and suppliers, the company shut down all IT systems and disconnected network connections. The investigative authorities were notified immediately. In the meantime, production at the more than 50 plants worldwide has largely been transferred to normal operations.
Eberspächer's IT monitoring systems registered suspicious activity on October 24. In order to prevent a possible spread of the attack both within the company and externally, Eberspächer shut down all their networks and servers. The perpetrators had attacked servers worldwide using so-called ransomware and encrypted part of the data. "We immediately activated our emergency plan, contacted the authorities and filed a complaint," summarizes Martin Peters, Managing Partner of the Eberspächer Group. "The cooperation with investigators is highly professional," emphasizes Peters. In order not to jeopardize the ongoing investigation, no further details can be published. There are no indications that the attack could spread to partner companies via existing communication links.
Focus on production plants
Eberspächer works for almost all major vehicle manufacturers, both in the passenger car and commercial vehicle sectors. The company also develops and supplies complete system and component series for special vehicles and buses as well as tailor-made retrofit solutions. After the attack, the focus was and is on supporting and ensuring the supply of customers from the more than 50 production plants worldwide. "We are in close coordination with our customers. Our teams have worked together excellently over the last few weeks, enabling us to maintain or quickly regain our ability to deliver," says Peters. Production and logistics are closely coordinated. Regardless of the cyberattack, the currently insufficient availability of electronic components, especially semiconductors, in the industry worldwide is influencing delivery capability. For the Managing Partner, this exceptional situation shows the excellent cohesion among the employees: "I am impressed by the cooperation in our company, this culture contributes significantly to the joint management."
Commissioning of IT infrastructure
After a thorough examination, the company puts its IT infrastructure gradually back into operation. A forensic team examines which areas of the network were affected and cleans the data. Parts of the network and the structure are being rebuilt in parallel and made even more secure so that it can gradually be put into operation. It will however be some time before all digital services are available again for all employees and partners.
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With approximately 10,000 employees at 80 locations in 28 countries worldwide, the Eberspächer Group is one of the automotive industry’s leading system developers and suppliers. The family business, headquartered in Esslingen am Neckar, stands for innovative solutions in exhaust technology, automotive electronics and thermal management for a broad range of vehicle types. In combustion and hybrid engines and in e-mobility, Eberspächer components and systems ensure more comfort, greater safety and a cleaner environment. In mobile and stationary fuel cell applications, synthetic fuels and the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier, Eberspächer is a pioneer for future technologies. In 2020, the corporate group generated revenue of over 4.9 billion euros.