Jane Anson
Decanter|February 2021
‘Cyber-attacks against drinks companies have been gathering steam’

On the morning of 1 November 2020, employees of Campari turned on their company computers and found the following note: ‘Hello Campari Group! If you are reading this message, it means your network was PENETRATED and all your files and data have been ENCRYPTED.’

The Italian beverage company had become the latest victim in a string of ransomware attacks targeting the food and wine world, with a group called Ragnar Locker demanding an eye-watering $15m (£11.3m) to unlock the files. It was technically a double-extortion ransomware attack, in which sensitive files and financial information are stolen and locked, with the threat that the data will be made public if the hackers aren’t paid.

In August 2020, hackers captured files to extort payment from Brown-Forman, the Kentucky-based owner of brands such as Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards and Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Australian company Lion, owner of Wither Hills wines and Tooheys beer, has also been targeted, plus a host of food businesses.

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