“When things do not go your way, remember that every challenge — every adversity — contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth.”
Today marks the day in which our foundational systems have been restored. For those of you who remember the “old days” we have figured out workarounds, new processes, and drawn upon the collective 2,450 years of educated print and bind knowledge we have in our wonderful workforce.
Although our systems are wounded, they are operational and feeding our pressroom, bindery, and distribution services. Over the coming week we will complete secondary system restoration, but our core functionality is in place. I am very proud of the fact that we continued to ship books every day throughout the restoration period and will work every day until we are caught up and on time with schedules.
Since the cyber-attack last Thursday morning I have become far more aware of the proliferation of this crime in corporate America. We have heard from publishers, printers, material suppliers, and even law enforcement and it amazes me how many people have been and are getting victimized. We are happy to talk to anyone about our restorative efforts in order to help you plan for your own benefit. Even the most advanced antivirus protection and strictest firewalls will not protect against the newest forms of sophisticated malware.
Over the weekend we will be reshuffling schedules and will communicate through our customer service teams on any changes to customer delivery dates. Please be patient and know that we are working around the clock to get back on top of demand. THANK YOU for those who continue to send in estimates and new jobs. We are so grateful for the loyalty of our customers.
Again feel free to reach out to me at any time with your comments or concerns.
We continue to work on system repair and although still at a slower than desired pace, we are operational in all areas technologically. Based on the progress we have made thus far we are working for full restoration of our systems by the end of this week.
A few points to reiterate:
- Despite strong firewall, and professional anti-virus protections we were hacked by an outside entity.
- Customers and suppliers should not be concerned that any data was compromised or taken. This was a lockdown virus and there is no evidence of any data theft or extrication.
- On Saturday, we restored our ability to make plates as the first priority and we are refilling the pressroom.
- During this period of restoration, we did not experience any downtime on our binding lines.
- We continued to ship product through the entire restoration process.
- We will continue to focus on titles of priority to be shipped in the month of December.
- Our estimates and proofs will be 1-2 days delayed for the rest of this week.
Lastly, we know there is concern regarding schedules and timings on shipments due. Please continue to reach out to your customer service representative for the latest information related to ship dates. We were hit hard but our employees have rallied to not let this get the better of us. We will work tirelessly to get projects out in the most efficient manner in which we can. Again, we appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience as we complete our recovery.
We continue to make good progress on restoring our systems taken down by the cyber-attackers. Email, phones, and ftp continue to function and please keep sending your estimate requests in as usual. Our data is slowly being restored and we are gaining access to W.I.P. info. We are feeding our platemaker with titles to plate and get to press to meet commitments although at a slower speed than usual.
Many people are looking for status updates on titles and I encourage you to continue to do that by calling or emailing your customer service representatives. We are on track to have our systems restored this week and again we appreciate your patience.
Letter From Kevin 12/3
As many know from our previous communication this last Thursday, Thomson Shore experienced a major system outage in which many of our computer and communication systems stopped working. We would like to assure you that we are still operational and continuing to produce product although in an inefficient state. I would like to share some details about the system outage. On Thursday, November 30th, at approximately 4:30am (est), Thomson-Shore was the victim of a cyberattack in which many of our company servers were “locked down” by an unknown attacker. We received a note alerting us as to how we could unlock the servers but until we communicated with this unknown attacker we would not be able to access information stored on these servers. We are victims of a cyber-crime. Despite our many layers of security, professional virus-protection, and heavy duty firewall, someone figured out how to hack us.
Our IT team was alerted remotely when the attack started and quickly shut down systems to limit the damage. At 7:30 am on that morning, the Thomson-Shore management team assembled and began triage. Within hours, we had begun to restore some systems, we alerted local law enforcement, and began to manage the situation to the extent we were able to. Most importantly, we engaged the support of an outside security firm to aid in our restoration of systems as well as to aid in the tracking of the attackers. I am happy to say that we are now operational in all areas of the company, however, many of our systems are in a damaged state. That said, we expect to be back to full productivity by the end of this week. We believe there to be no concern about data breach as data was merely locked down but not compromised. No one should be concerned about content being taken from our environment.
At the moment, we have restored or recreated resources for customers to communicate with us. Our email and phone systems have been restored as has ftp capabilities. I would ask any customer to contact your customer service representative (email or phone) for questions and ftp instructions. As we continue to bring our systems up please know that our production operation was largely untouched. We will have some delays for certain and as we power up all systems we will be able to reset our schedules and prioritize to ensure we meet as many commitments as we can. We ask for your understanding and patience as we will have to shuffle work around to meet certain commitments. Again, please contact customer service for any specific concerns you may have in the coming days.
We will provide daily updates to ensure our customers and suppliers have the latest information in order to manage your commitments and expectations. We may ask some customers to help us in resending information and or job files regarding jobs in process. Again, we appreciate your understanding and support in this difficult time.
Sadly, in today’s new world, we are all potential victims of this type of crime. We will share our learnings to hopefully provide insight to you in order to protect this happening to you personally or your companies. We are receiving ongoing support from law enforcement as well as the F.B.I. and we will cooperate at every stage in order to locate and prosecute the attackers.
Lastly, we ask for your continued patience and understanding. As you will see, our systems are weakened but as a company we have never been stronger. Our employees, supplier partners, and customers are the greatest in the world and together we will not let cyber-criminals hurt us. We will be stronger and faster and certainly more experienced as we work through this. We welcome your phone calls or emails and please feel free to reach out to me personally with any concerns or questions.