One of Canada’s oldest steel manufacturing firms says it has been hit with an undefined cyberattack.

In a statement released Sunday afternoon, Stelco said it was “subject to a criminal attack on its information systems.”

“In response, Stelco immediately implemented countermeasures in accordance with established cybersecurity procedures and policies that have been developed in collaboration with expert external advisors,” the statement reads. “The countermeasures taken were effective and limited the scope of the attack. Certain operations, including steel production, were temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure but have since resumed operations.”

The release also said Stelco is working with police to investigate the attack.

Stelco has facilities located in Hamilton and Nanticoke, Ont. that produce high-quality value-added hot rolled, cold rolled and coated sheet steel products used in the construction, automotive and energy industries across North America. Its parent company, Stelco Holdings Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Asked for comment, vice-president of corporate affairs Trevor Harris said the company had nothing more to say beyond what was in the release.

The statement said that Stelco continues to investigate the incident and the extent of the impact on its systems. Its backup and recovery plans were being implemented Sunday to fully re-establish its systems as quickly as possible. However, it added, some business functions may be adversely affected during this recovery process.

In its annual results released Feb. 18, the parent company Stelco Holdings Inc. said for the calendar year 2019 net earnings were $10 million on $1.8 billion of revenue, compared to net earnings of $253 million for 2018. During the year it shipped 2.4 million tons of steel products compared to 2.6 million tons for 2018.

The company suffered a net loss of $24 million on revenue of $435 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, in part due to what it called “an unprecedented drop” in average steel prices. In the first quarter of this year it lost another $24 million, while net income was zero in the second quarter.

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