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Trucking company Forward Air said its ransomware incident cost it $7.5 million

Even if the company recovered from the ransomware attack, the incident left a mark on its Q4 2020 bottom line.
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Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor on
Forward Air
Image: Forward Air

Trucking and freight transportation logistics company Forward Air said a recent ransomware attack left a dent of $7.5 million in its Q4 financial results.

The sum was described as a loss of revenue from its LTL (less-than-load) trucking business and not costs incurred from dealing with the incident.

The losses stemmed "primarily because of the Company's need to temporarily suspend its electronic data interfaces with its customers," Forward Air said in SEC documents filed today.

The ransomware incident, which took place on December 15 last year and was identified as an attack with the Hades ransomware, forced the company to take all of its IT systems offline to deal with the intrusion.

According to a report from trucking news site Freight Waves, the incident led to huge disruptions to ForwardAir's operations as drivers and employees couldn't access the necessary documents to clear transports through customs.

Albeit Forward Air said it successfully recovered from the attack, today's SEC filing and the hefty price the company had to pay for it, shows once again why most security researchers have been preaching prevention rather than a cure for the ransomware problem.

The SEC documents filed today make no mention of Forward Air paying the ransom demand or picking it through a cyber insurance policy.

A report released this week by Coveware, a company that handles ransomware payment negotiations, also mentioned that more and more companies are opting not to pay a ransom demand after learning that ransomware gangs don't always delete any stolen data.

More and more companies are today opting to rebuild from scratch instead.

Nonetheless, despite a dip in observed payments, 2020 was ransomware's biggest year. A report from blockchain investigations firm Chainalysis estimated that ransomware gangs made at least $350 million from ransom payments in 2020, up 311% from 2019.

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