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Trailer maker Utility targeted in ransomware attack

Company discloses ‘cyber event’ after hackers leak employee data

Utility Trailer Manufacturing is one of the largest trailer makers in the U.S. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Utility Trailer Manufacturing, one of the largest U.S. producers of trailers for the trucking industry, was targeted in an apparent ransomware attack that exposed personal information of numerous employees. 

The California-based company told FreightWaves that it had “suffered a cyber event” that disrupted some systems temporarily. The company disclosed the incident after the Clop ransomware gang leaked over 5 gigabytes of data to the dark web this week. 

“Upon discovery, Utility immediately responded to secure its systems and commenced an investigation into the nature and scope of the event,” Utility said in a statement. “Utility is working around the clock with assistance from third-party forensic computer specialists to investigate the full nature and scope of the attack and to bring the offline systems back online safely and securely.” 

Utility did not not address the scope of the cyberattack, including when it occurred and and whether it has impacted operations. The company also did not disclose the extent of the data compromised.

The data reviewed by FreightWaves, which isn’t accessible via standard web browsers, includes an extensive amount of sensitive personal data about employees, including payrolls and human resources information. 

“Utility treats its responsibility to safeguard client, customer and employee information and data as an utmost priority,” the company said. 

Ransomware gang’s victims include rail operator CSX

Ransomware gangs like Clop typically begin leaking data after victims refuse to pay them. The group blamed for the Colonial Pipeline attack, DarkSide, uses the same tactic.

Clop has hit multiple major companies, including rail operator CSX and the Canadian fuel distributor Parkland.

Utility is the third-largest trailer producer in the United States, according to Trailer Body Builder. The company says it is the single largest manufacturer of refrigerated trailers. 

Headquartered in the City of Industry, Utility operates five factories in the U.S.

FreightWaves Detroit Bureau Chief Alan Adler contributed to this report. 

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Nate Tabak

One Comment

  1. Reality vs Fantasy at Utility

    Temporary system outages my ass.The most recent estimate is that the Utility network will be up sometime in early June. Which would put the network outage at a little over a month.

    Conducting business using personal celphones since the phone lines also run off the network isn’t minor. And the network outage doesn’t just affect computers and the phones. it affects a host of other systems used as a part of manufacturing and shipping of trailers

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]