>> Mondelez International, one of world's largest chocolate makers, reporting a significant drop in sales Wednesday. Not because of a new health trend or a cocoa shortage or a PR disaster, but because of shipping delays caused by a computer virus. Costly cyber attacks are impacting the bottom line at more and more major companies, a problem highlighted by the NotPetya virus that crippled Ukraine businesses in June and spread worldwide.
Reuters' cyber security correspondent Jim Finkle explains.>> NotPetya is one of the most destructive computer viruses discovered to date, and it's a type of virus known as a worm, and it's called a worm because it can spread by itself without human interaction. What took a little longer for people to realize was that businesses that had operations in Ukraine, their computers got hit and then it spread across the globe to hit other operations.
>> NotPetya hit the earnings of several other large companies, including FedEx, shipping firm Maersk, and pharmaceutical company Merck, where NotPetya halted production of some drugs.>> The problem is, their entire networks are shut down and people in the companies are unable to work for several days, sometimes weeks.
One of the people I spoke to compared this to superstorm Sandy and said, the NotPetya attack is like a winter storm or other problems. So just add cyber security to the list of risks that investors face when they invest in a company.>> Time Warner's HBO announcing this week that hackers had broken into its network and had stolen upcoming programming.
An attack that Finkle says if true, could be as big as the cyber attack on Sony in 2014.>> HBO was part of Time Warner, which is in the middle of closing a sale to AT&T. And if something really embarrassing came out, something that forced executives to leave the company or there were anything else, that could affect the deal.
>> According to an internal memo seen by Reuters, HBO says it does not believe its email system as a whole has been compromised. Still, Time Warner executives are likely on edge. Keenly aware that Verizon bought Yahoo's core business for $350 million less than its original offer after two massive cyber attacks at the Internet company.