Cyberattack Halts Operations at Molson Coors
Given the choice of either learning about cybersecurity or drinking a beer, plenty of people would likely opt for the latter. But in an era when computers control so much, these two things may be more closely linked than we realize. Molson Coors has certainly learned that their brewing and IT teams are intimately linked: Yesterday, a cyberattack forced America's second-largest brewer to shut down operations.
The incident proved so significant that Molson Coors sent a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission alerting investors in the $10 billion company of the breach, writing that they had "experienced a systems outage that was caused by a cybersecurity incident" and were "working around the clock to get its systems back up as quickly as possible." More than just an email hack, Molson Coors continued that the incident "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."
Reached for comment, Adam Collins—chief communications and corporate affairs officer for Molson Coors—stated, "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. We will continue to communicate with our business partners with updates." Molson Coors provided the same statement to CNN yesterday, so it would appear there has been no official update to the situation.
Molson Coors' two most obvious brands appear in the brewing giant's name, but the company also produces a laundry list of other products including Arnold Palmer Spiked Half & Half, Blue Moon, Clearly Kombucha, Crispin Cider, Fosters, Hamm's, Keystone, Leinenkugel's, and Miller—just to pull a few from the first half of the alphabet.
Interestingly enough, the world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced two years ago that they had launched their own cybersecurity unit specifically to defend themselves against what the company saw as a growing number of digital threats. Meanwhile, the tech site ZDNet points out that Molson Coors is far from the first beverage brand to deal with a cyberattack: Campari was knocked offline with a ransomware attack this past November, and Arizona Beverages dealt with a similar issue back in 2019.