Molson Coors discloses cyberattack disrupting its brewery operations

Brewing giant Molson Coors disclosed Thursday that it has experienced a “cybersecurity incident” that has disrupted operations and beer production. In a Form-8K filed with the SEC today, Miller Coors said it’s bringing in an outside forensic IT firm to investigate the breach, but that delays in shipments were likely as it works to bring its systems back online.

“The Company is working around the clock to get its systems back up as quickly as possible,” Miller Coors wrote in the filing. “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.”

Molson Coors operates a huge portfolio of beer brands, including the iconic Coors and Miller brands, as well as Molson Canadian, Blue Moon, Peroni, Grolsch, Killian’s, and Foster’s. 

The company has not provided additional details of the cyberattack, but some security experts are calling the incident a ransomware attack. In November, Campari Group, the famed Italian beverage vendor behind brands like Campari, Cinzano, and Appleton, was hit with a ransomware attack that took down a large part of its IT network. 

Campari was the second major beverage vendor after Arizona Beverages to be knocked offline because of a ransomware attack in just two years. 

Speaking of the Miller Coors incident, Niamh Muldoon, global data protection officer with OneLogin, said these attacks illustrate how cyber criminals are targeting high profile organizations to interrupt key business operations and manufacturing.

“Ransomware remains a global cybersecurity threat and is the one cybercrime that has a high direct return of investment associated with it, by holding the victims’ ransom for financial payment,” said Muldoon. “On a global scale, cybercriminals will continue to focus their efforts on this revenue-generating stream. This reinforces what we’ve said before that no industry is exempt from the ransomware threat and it requires constant focus, assessment and review to ensure that critical information assets remain safeguarded and protected against it.”

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