The Clorox Company admits cyberattack causing 'widescale disruption'
Back to 'manual' order processing for $7B household cleaning biz, financial impact will be 'material'
The Clorox Company, makers of bleach and other household cleaning products, doesn't expect operations to return to normal until near month end as it combs over "widescale disruption to operations" caused by cyber baddies.
The $7+ billion turnover biz, whose sub-brands include Burt's Bees, Formula 409 and Kitchen Bouquet, confirmed last month that it had identified unauthorized activity in its network but didn't reveal whether the crooks had exfiltrated data, when it happened, or how long it took to spot them.
Certain unspecified systems were pulled offline "out of an abundance of caution," and some operations were "impaired" as a result.
In the latest update to the SEC [PDF], the company said it "began manual ordering and processing procedures shortly thereafter at a reduced rate of operations. The company is operating at a lower rate of order processing and has recently begun to experience an elevated level of consumer product availability issues."
Clorox does believe the intruders' "activity is contained" however this whole sorry tale is having a considerable financial impact that will be visible in the next set of quarterly results, the company warned.
"The cybersecurity attack damaged portions of the company's IT infrastructure, which caused widescale disruption of Clorox's operations. The company is repairing the infrastructure and is reintegrating the systems that were proactively taken offline," the SEC filing adds.
A return to normal automated order processing is scheduled for September 25.
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"Clorox has already resumed production at the vast majority of its manufacturing sites and expects to fully ramp up to full production to occur over time. At this time, the company cannot estimate how long it will take to resume fully normalized operations."
The extent of the financial and business impact is still under valuation but due to "order processing delays and elevated level of product outages," the forecast is the "impact will be material on Q12 financial results. It is premature for the company to determine longer-term impact."
In fiscal 2023 for Clorox ended June 30, the business reported $7.389 billion in turnover, up on the $7.1 billion in the prior year. It recorded $237 million in profit before tax, down from $607 million. ®