Olympus says U.S. IT systems hit by possible cyberattack


Medical technology company Olympus has taken down some of its information-technology systems as it investigates a possible cyberattack, the company said Tuesday.

Olympus in an online notice said the company detected “suspicious activity” on its IT systems in the Americas, which includes Canada, Latin America and the U.S., over the weekend.

Olympus did not share details of the suspicious behavior but said the company has deployed a response team of forensics experts to investigate the possible cyberattack. As part of the effort to contain the problem, Olympus suspended the affected Canada, Latin America and U.S. IT systems and notified “relevant external partners,” though it didn’t specify who those partners included.

Olympus didn’t disclose whether customer or company data was affected in the incident.

“We are currently working with the highest priority to resolve this issue,” the notice reads. “The current results of our investigation indicate the incident was contained to the Americas with no known impact to other regions.”

An Olympus spokesperson in an email to Modern Healthcare said the company is currently investigating the extent of the incident and will provide updates as new information is available.

The announcement follows a cyberattack that Olympus disclosed last month.

An Olympus spokesperson told Modern Healthcare the company has not found evidence to suggest the two incidents are related, although the investigation is ongoing.

In early September, Olympus was hit with a malware attack that compromised parts of the company’s sales and manufacturing networks in Europe, Middle East and Africa. At the time, Olympus said it had suspended access to the affected areas. As of September 14, Olympus said it had found no evidence data had been captured or used by hackers.

The September cyberattack has been tied to BlackMatter, a ransomware group, according to TechCrunch, which reviewed a ransom note reportedly left on infected computers at Olympus.

The Biden administration and Congress have stressed the need to address a growing ransomware problem, as hackers increasingly have targeted U.S. hospitals, government agencies and schools.

Olympus, a Japanese company that manufacturers endoscopes, microscopes and other medical and life sciences tools, reported $1.7 billion (¥191.5 billion) in revenue for its most recent fiscal quarter, which ended in June—up 40.2% year-over-year. Olympus posted $243 million (¥27.6 billion) in operating profit, up 644.5%.



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