Molson Coors disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), today that it has experienced a "systems outage caused by a cybersecurity incident" that has disrupted operations and beer production.
“Although the company is actively managing this cybersecurity incident, it has caused and may continue to cause a delay or disruption to parts of the company’s business, including its brewery operations, production and shipments,” according to a statement issued by Adam Collins, Molson Coors chief communications and corporate affairs officer.
“We have engaged a leading forensic IT firm to assist our investigation into the incident and are working around the clock to get our systems back up as quickly as possible,” the statement reads.
The company did not disclose further details about the event but “the attack seems to be a ransomware attack,” Maya Levine, Technical Marketing Engineer at Check Point Software Technologies told Fox6 News.
Ransomware is a type of malware that threatens to publish the victim's data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. More advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion, in which it encrypts the victim's files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. Usually digital currencies such as Bitcoin is used for the ransoms, making tracing and prosecuting the perpetrators difficult.
Last year another brewing group was affected by ransomware. Operations of Lion, one of the largest brewing groups in Australia and New Zealand and a subsidiary of Kirin Holdings from Japan, were interrupted for more than one week following two similar attacks. (inside.beer, 19.6.2020)
Also Campari Group, the famed Italian beverage vendor behind brands like Campari, Cinzano, and Appleton, was hit with a ransomware attack last November. At that time a directory featuring the personal and contact details of more than 6,000 employees and former employees and over 1,000 contractors was compromised. The attack also unearthed some contracts and accounting data relating to Campari America LLC, the firm’s US subsidiary.