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Aussie Beer-Maker Suffers Ransomware Attack

One of Australia’s largest drinks companies is warning of potential beer shortages after suffering a major ransomware attack.

Lion sells Tooheys, XXXX, Emu and other popular Aussie beer brands, as well as a range of non-alcoholic drinks.

A ransomware attack on Monday forced a shutdown of key systems at a time when the country is just coming out of COVID-19 lockdown, and the hospitality industry is looking to recoup some major losses over recent months.

However, Lion revealed in an updated statement today that a reboot of systems is taking longer than anticipated, and could lead to product shortages.

“Throughout the COVID-19 shutdown, we were able to continue to brew beer safely. We had stock at hand and were gearing up to increase brewing. This attack has delayed those plans, and because of the situation we have limited visibility of our products,” it said.

“We’re working to bring our breweries back online as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will be managing our stock levels very closely and may see some temporary shortages. We apologize in advance to our customers and consumers and ask for their patience as we do what we can to get back to normal supply levels.”

On the Dairy & Drinks side of the business, the incident continues to affect customer service and some manufacturing sites are still offline. Although there’s been no impact to the collection of milk or fruit, ordering has reverted to manual processes.

Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at ESET, argued that cyber-criminals are taking advantage of companies that may have been forced to radically shift operations due to the pandemic.

“In effect, more victims have been hit whilst their eyes have been diverted,” he added. “It can be increasingly difficult to bat off all the potential threats, although understanding the backup process and simulating attacks will take businesses a long way in assessing risk.”


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