Cyber attack shuts down Israeli pharma company's distribution

Rekah, a prominent local producer of medicines, cosmetics, vitamins, and nutritional supplements, said it is working "to contain the incident, locate and thwart it, and restore compromised systems to operation"

The Israeli pharmaceutical company Rekah has shut down its distribution system in response to a cyber attack, the company confirmed to Calcalist. According to CEO Mordechai Algrably, the company is preparing to restore the distribution system as quickly as possible while testing manual alternatives to operate the computerized system in case the investigation of the attack is prolonged.
Rekah, a public company with a market value of around $37 million, is a prominent producer of medicines, cosmetics, vitamins, and nutritional supplements. The company has been under the control of the Fimi fund since 2015. According to an announcement to the stock exchange published by Rekah on Monday, the company identified "a potential cyber security incident" involving "an intrusion by an unauthorized party" into the computer systems of subsidiary Ophir & Shalpharm Medicines and Cosmetics which fully operates the central distribution and sales system for the company.
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האקר האקרים סייבר
האקר האקרים סייבר
(Photo: Reuters)
Following the detection of the attack, the company proactively shut down the compromised computer systems. "A special team has been established, which includes external professional parties who specialize in handling information security incidents," the company reported. "The team is working to contain the incident, locate and thwart it, and restore compromised systems to operation." According to Rekah, preliminary estimates suggest that the extent of the damage is not substantial. "The company is taking all possible actions to minimize potential damages and restore systems to full functionality," the statement added.
In a conversation with Calcalist, Algrably explained that due to the attack, Rekah had to halt the distribution system, which typically operates using the affected computer systems. "We have set up a special team, including experts from an external company, who are examining the system and trying to restore files so that we can resume operations," he said. "We understand the need and importance of returning to distribution as soon as possible, and we are investing all necessary resources and efforts to achieve this."
Algrably estimated that a short shutdown of the distribution system would not cause a shortage of the company's drugs, as customers such as pharmacies and hospitals typically keep enough stock for several days. "On Passover, we don’t supply for three consecutive days. On holidays like Independence Day, there is no supply. Pharmacies usually have a reasonable stock; we don't deliver every day. If there is no supply for a day or two, it won't harm the company or the customers," he said.
According to Algrably, Rakah's production system was not damaged and continues to function normally. In case the investigation and recovery from the attack take longer, the company is considering alternative, temporary supply options that will not rely on the computerized system. "If a system like a hospital needs something important, we will provide it with an order using a manual delivery certificate, but everything needs to be coordinated," he said.