Yachting Art Magazine

Boating Industries - The Bénéteau Group falls victim to a cyber-attack

Since yesterday, Friday, February 19, 2021, the Bénéteau Group, the world's number two in leisure boats, whether sailing boats, motor boats or catamarans (Bénéteau, Jeanneau, Prestige, Lagoon, Excess Catamarans, Four Winns, Wellcraft...), has been the victim of a cyber attack. This act of economic terrorism affects its various French sites, whether in Vendée or Bordeaux.

Boating Industries - The Bénéteau Group falls victim to a cyber-attack

Yesterday evening, Groupe Bénéteau confirmed that it has been the victim of a cyber attack, a first for the French company, but not in the French boating industry, since the Fountaine-Pajot shipyard, the world's number two in the leisure catamaran market, based in La Rochelle, had been the victim of such an attack in June 2020, which had strongly affected its operations, blocking its production for about ten days, the site having owed its salvation to physical backups, stored off-site - the old-fashioned way - an excellent industrial reflex.

It was during the night of Thursday to Friday that the computer attack on Groupe Bénéteau was discovered by the company's security services, who immediately stopped connections in order to limit the spread of the attack.

By shutting down its computer systems, the French Group crashed its telephone system - no one could be reached at the time - its extranet connecting it to its dealers and distributors, and its internal CRM, which manages all information and production systems. A decision with far-reaching consequences, but one that is essential for understanding the scale of the attack.

Groupe Bénéteau's IT teams, backed up by outside specialists, have since been working to identify the problems and estimate the possible damage generated, before embarking on a restoration of services, which is likely to take a long time, with the group indicating that the specialists mobilized "must carry out a precise analysis of the entire system, in order to determine what is affected and what is not, which is very time-consuming to carry out".

While on Friday, the group's various production sites were able to continue their operations more or less normally, being supplied with parts and consumables, the beginning of the week should be more difficult, with the shutdown of computer systems, especially those in the supply chain.

The group has moreover asked its production operators not to come to work on Monday, the day on which an initial official press release could be issued, as the group indicated to the magazine ActuNautique Yachting Art. 

A police investigation has been opened, following a complaint filed by the industrial group.

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