Canadian IoT provider Sierra Wireless hit by ransomware

Richmond, B.C.-based Sierra Wireless says it was hit with ransomware on March 20.

In a statement this morning, the publicly-traded company said it has halted production at its manufacturing sites, some internal operations have been disrupted and its website is offline.

The company says it believes it will restart production and resume normal operations soon. “In the meantime, Sierra Wireless asks its customers and partners for their patience as it seeks to remediate the situation,” the statement read.

So far, Sierra Wireless maintains that the impact of the attack was limited to its systems, as the company maintains a clear separation between its internal IT systems and customer-facing products and services.

The statement said once the company learned of the attack on its IT, operations teams immediately implemented measures to counter the attack in accordance with established cybersecurity procedures and policies that were developed in collaboration with third-party advisors. These teams, with the assistance of third-party advisors, have addressed the attack and are currently working to bring Sierra Wireless’ internal IT systems back online.

The company makes a wide range of WiFi and embedded cellular modules and gateways for original equipment manufacturers. Units are in everything from smart lockers, building HVAC systems to transport trucks. Many CISOs would know the company through its Airlink routers and gateways. The company focuses on three markets: Industrial Edge for manufacturing asset monitoring; Mobile Edge for mobile asset tracking; and Infrastructure Edge for commercial infrastructure. Through its cloud solutions for managing products and data, it earns recurring revenue.

In its annual financial statement filed Feb. 23 the company said it had a loss in 2020, including foreign currency adjustments, of US$41 on revenue of US$448 million.

In November 2020 the company got out of the business of making embedded wireless modules for the automotive sector, selling the unit to a Hong Kong company for US$165 million.

The cyberattack against the company happened in the midst of a search for a new leader. On Jan. 21, Sierra Wireless said current CEO Kent Thexton plans to retire on June 30.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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