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International cyberattack causes Ehituse ABC to close all stores

The effects of an extensive international cyberattack, which began earlier this week, have reached Estonia, where all locations of home improvement store Ehituse ABC have been closed on Wednesday until systems affected by the attack can be brought back online.

Ulatuslik rahvusvaheline küberrünnak, mis sai alguse nädala algul, on jõudnud otsapidi ka Eestisse: Ehituse ABC kõik poed on täna suletud, kuni küberrünnakust häiritud süsteemid taas tööle saadakse.

Ehituse ABC CFO and board member Anton Kutser told online news portal Delfi (link in Estonian) that their number one priority right now is to communicate with their customers and get their stores opened back up.

"A number of other international groups have been attacked within the framework of the cyberattack — this problem is being addressed right now," said Kutser. "We have localized our computer systems in order to protect our data protection systems. The consequences of the cyberattack are being dealt with. The number one priority right now is customer service; we will begin serving customers just as soon as we get these problems resolved. Currently all Ehituse ABC locations are closed."

Klaid Mägi, director of the Incident Response Department at the Cyber Security Branch of the Information System Authority (RIA) told ERR's radio news on Wednesday morning that the authority has information about one business who has been hit by the cyberattack.

"It has not caused them a great deal of damage," he said. "Even if work stations are encrypted, this has not affected the business' work in any way and there has been no great damage to the company."

Mägi noted that it isn't even possible to protect oneself 100 percent from such attacks. "It is quite normal that the odd computer is occasionally infected," he stressed. "It is first and foremost a business' other internal processes that must ensure that there is no damage done. In other words, data must be backed up properly."

The RIA official noted that the affected business is the Estonian branch of an international business. "We do not yet have an exact analysis of how these things began, whether they arrivd through a parent company or were somehow infected here in Estonia," he added.

Kantar Emor shuts down systems as precaution

Another Estonian business to be affected by the cyberattack is research company Kantar Emor, which likewise belongs to an international group.

On Tuesday afternoon, companies belonging to international British advertising and public relations (PR) group WPP plc were hit by the cyberattack on Tuesday afternoon, after which Kantar Emor, a member of the group, closed down its computer systems as a precaution. Use of Emor's e-services remains interrupted, but they hope to resolve the situation sometime during the day, the Estonian business announced.

"The cyberattack did not affect a single Kantar company — neither our nor our customers' data has once been in danger," explained Emor director Karin Niinas.

WPP (Wire and Plastic Products) plc is an international advertising and PR business whose main offices are located in London. The group owns a number of advertising, PR and market research netwrorks, such as Grey, Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, JWT, Ogilvy & Mather, Kantar, Young & Rubicam and Cohn & Wolfe.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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