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Hackers steal research data from Sweden’s Volvo Cars

Swedish manufacturer Volvo Cars said Friday that hackers had stolen research and development data from its systems in a cyberattack.

Finished cars wait to be transported at Swedish auto maker Volvo Cars's Torslanda production plant in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Finished cars wait to be transported at Swedish auto maker Volvo Cars's Torslanda production plant in Gothenburg, Sweden. Investigations into the cyberattack so far show that the firm's R&D data, not customer data, has been affected. Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

The company, owned by China’s Geely, “has become aware that one of its file repositories has been illegally accessed by a third party,” it said.

“Investigations so far confirm that a limited amount of the company’s R&D property has been stolen during the intrusion,” Volvo added.

It warned that “there may be an impact on the company’s operation” from the hack, sending its stock falling 3.5 percent in Stockholm, to 72.44 kronor ($8.00, 7.06 euros).

But the company added there was likely no “impact on the safety or security of its customers’ cars or their personal data”.

Gothenburg-based Volvo is currently pumping cash into electrifying its entire range by 2030.

A spokesman told AFP that the company had not been hit by ransomware and remained in full control of its data.

He added that a “third party” had contacted Volvo “recently” about the information theft, without giving any details about the exchange.

Volvo Cars separated from truck manufacturer Volvo Group in 1999, before being bought by Geely in 2010.

Member comments

  1. If Geely own Volvo then the headline should read “Hackers steal research data from China‚Äôs Volvo Cars. You can’t sell your car and then when you see it in the street say “That’s my car”..

    1. I politely request that you proofread and correct this otherwise dumb comment because it’s not understandable.

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BUSINESS

Philip Morris offers $16 bn for Swedish smokeless tobacco firm

Marlboro-maker Philip Morris International said on Wednesday that it had offered $16 billion to acquire smokeless tobacco company Swedish Match as the US group aims to move away from its traditional cigarette business.

Philip Morris offers $16 bn for Swedish smokeless tobacco firm

The board of Swedish Match recommended that its shareholders accept the bid of 106 Swedish kronor per share, nearly 40 percent above its closing share price on Monday, the companies said in separate statements.

The deal would total 161.2 billion Swedish kronor (15 billion euros).

Stockholm-based Swedish Match derives more than 65 percent of its revenue from smoke-free products, including chewing tobacco and the Zyn brand of nicotine pouches.

Philip Morris announced in 2016 a long-term goal to stop selling cigarettes and replace them with alternatives that it says are less harmful.

The US company sells cigarette brands such as Marlboro and Chesterfield in 180 markets outside the United States and has invested billions of dollars since 2008 in vapor products, oral nicotine and other “reduced-risk” products.

Last year it clinched a controversial takeover of British breathing inhaler manufacturer Vectura, despite fierce opposition from health campaigners and medical groups.

The group plans to generate at least $1 billion in annual net revenues from nicotine-free products by 2025.

Philip Morris and Swedish Match had confirmed the takeover talks on Monday following a Wall Street Journal report.

“We are pleased to announce this exciting next step in Philip Morris International’s and Swedish Match’s trajectory toward a smoke-free future,” the US company’s chief executive, Jacek Olczak, said in a statement.

“Underpinned by compelling strategic and financial rationale, this combination would create a global smoke-free champion — strengthened by complementary geographic footprints, commercial capabilities and product portfolios — and open up significant platforms for growth in the US and internationally,” he said.

Swedish Match chairman Conny Karlsson told AFP that the deal was a “good offer” for shareholders.

“It’s great to have the chance to broaden the distribution of our products, which can compete with cigarettes,” Karlsson said.

Snus scandal

Swedish Match is also known for making cigars and “snus”, a form of snuff particular to Nordic countries.

The sale of snus, a moist powder tobacco originating from dry snuff, is illegal across the European Union, but Sweden has an exemption. It contains nicotine and comes in teabag-like pouches that are placed under the lip.

In 2012, Swedish Match said an associate to the EU’s then health commissioner had sought a 60-million-euro payment from the company to push for a proposed tobacco law that would lift the snus ban.

The firm filed a complaint with the European Anti-Fraud Office and the health commissioner, John Dalli, resigned from his post.

Dalli appeared in a Maltese court this year on charges of bribery and trading in influence over the lobbying scandal.

Swedish Match shares rose by almost nine percent to 103.50 kroner following the takeover bid.

Philip Morris, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, was up 0.6 percent to $99.47 in electronic trading before the stock market opened.

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