The operator of one of the largest aluminium plants in Europe has switched to manual operations at its smelting facilities following a cyber-attack.

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 Norsk Hydro, one of the world’s largest producers of aluminum, was battling on Tuesday to contain a cyber attack which hit its production facilities, sending shares lower.

The operator of one of the largest aluminium plants in Europe has switched to manual operations at its smelting facilities following a cyber-attack.Hydro, which employs more than 35,000 people in 40 countries, says the attack began on Monday night and is ongoing.

A spokesman told the BBC that he could not yet confirm what type of cyber-attack the firm was facing or who was behind it.The company’s website is currently down.

“IT systems in most business areas are impacted,” the firm said.

Hydro told the BBC that digital systems at its Norwegian smelting plants were programmed to ensure machinery worked efficiently.However, these systems had had to be turned off.

“They are much more reliant today on computerised systems than they were some years ago,” a spokesman said.

“But they have the option of reverting back to methods that are not as computerised, so we are able to continue production.”

The firm said it was working to contain and “neutralise” the attack.

Norway’s state cyber-security agency is also helping Hydro to respond to the incident.

FROM CARS TO CONSTRUCTION

Hydro makes products across the aluminum value chain, from the refinement of alumina raw material via metal ingots to bespoke components used in cars and the construction industry.

The Norwegian state agency in charge of cyber security said Hydro contacted them early on Tuesday and that it was assisting the company.

“We are sharing this information with other sectors in Norway and with our international partners,” said a spokeswoman for the Norwegian National Security Authority (NSM). She declined to comment on the nature of the attack.

Norsk Hydro’s main website page was unavailable on Tuesday, although some of the web pages belonging to subsidiaries could still be accessed. The company was updating on the situation on its Facebook page.

Hydro’s shares fell 3.4 percent in early trade before a partial recovery to trade down 0.9 percent by 1003 GMT. It was still lagging the Oslo benchmark index, which was up 0.6 percent.

Hydro, which has 36,000 employees in 40 countries, recorded sales of 159.4 billion crowns ($18.7 billion) last year, with a net profit of 4.3 billion crowns.

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