Trouble is brewing at Molson Coors after massive hack

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Chicago-based brewing firm Molson Coors has revealed a cyber attack has disrupted its beer-making operations.

In a Form-8K filed with the SEC today, the brewer said it’s engaging with “forensic information technology firms and legal counsel to assist the Company’s investigation into the incident and the Company is working around the clock to get its systems back up as quickly as possible.”

“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.”

The company has not provided additional details of the attack in the advisory or elsewhere.

Sam Curry, chief security officer (CSO) at Cybereason, told ITPro that, unfortunately, alcohol- and spirits-distribution companies are coming under attack.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, alcohol has been a creature comfort, and it's been a good time for business in one corner of the economy - but this puts a target squarely on their backs,” Curry said.

"For Molson, I recommend being transparent above all. Be clear and unified in messaging. Get help from people who specialize in crisis communications immediately and put the customers and partners right in the center of your efforts. The public will see you as a hero or a villain in the end, not a victim. There is no victim option. So, decide what it's going to be, and manage this appropriately. My advice, by the way, is to choose hero. It's a better look, and your shareholders, customers, and partners will stick with you for the strength and integrity,” Curry added.

Lewis Jones, threat intelligence analyst at Talion, told ITPro that his advice to the company would be to take the following steps: Fully investigate the breach to confirm what information was compromised; change and strengthen login credentials and passwords; ensure any third-party clients are aware of any impact and provide advice around ensuring they stay safe; and stay alert and monitor your accounts.

“To attempt to mitigate the likelihood of an attack in future the business should - keep software up to date, encrypt information, use strong login credentials/Multi-Factor Authentication & stay up to date with the ever-changing and diverse threat landscape,” Jones said.

“There has been a significant increase in ransomware attacks over the past 12 months, with this technique becoming increasingly popular and lucrative for threat attackers. The company should be mindful that whilst paying the ransom this provides no guarantee that the data will be deleted and won’t be published in the future."

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.