Evraz North America has shut down its sizeable Regina steel plant in western Canada, and temporarily laid off workers after it was targeted in a ransomware attack, according to a statement from the United Steel Workers of America Union (USW).
The incident began late, March 4, and has impacted operations in the US and Canada resulting in provisional layoffs for about 900 Queen City steel mill employees in Saskatchewan USW said.
Evraz’s computer systems, including email, shipping, and product certification data, across North America were affected with disruptions, the company said on March 5, according to media reports. Information technology teams have been working to restore systems that were disrupted.
The USW was informed on March 6, that a planned steel sector shutdown at Evraz, scheduled for the end of March, began early due to the cyber-attack. The expected duration of the stoppage was to be three days and in effect until Monday, according to the USW.
However, on March 9, the USW issued an update informing of a melt shop outage, that is projected to last until April 1 and a rolling mill outage until April 15. Evraz told USW it would be maintaining a crew of about 10pc of the total workforce during this time, due to which the temporary layoff for most of the workers has been extended.
Evraz indicated there is no sign of a breach of confidential, personal, customer or employee information, according to media reports, which added that the Regina plant employs over 1,000 people and ships large amounts of steel plate, coil, pipe and tubing and around 200 maintenance employees remain in their jobs while production is on hold.
However, the steel maker had not responded to Davis Index’s queries about the cyber-attack’s impact on its production and the schedule to resume operations at the time of publication.
Evraz employs about 1,800 employees in Canada and has plants in Edmonton, Camrose, Red Deer, and Calgary in addition to Regina. The company employs over 1,400 people in the US and has locations in Portland, Oregon, Pueblo, Colorado, and is headquartered in Chicago.
EVRAZ is one of the world’s largest steel manufacturers with global operations in Russia, Western and Eastern Europe, and South Africa. Evraz produced 13.8mn mt of crude steel in 2019 according to its website.