Security Market Segment LS
Monday, 17 August 2020 10:38

Big American liquor company hit by Windows REvil ransomware

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Big American liquor company hit by Windows REvil ransomware Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Brown-Forman, a big American-owned liquor and wine company which does business in more than 170 countries, appears to have been attacked by cyber criminals using the REvil ransomware.

The criminals claim to have been inside the company's networks for more than a month before posting internal data (screenshot below) on a dark web site on Friday.

REvil, which is also known as Sodinokibi, can only be used to attack systems running Microsoft's Windows operating system.

In a statement to ransomware specialist site Bleeping Computer, Brown-Forman said it had managed to prevent encryption of its data, as it had noticed the attack and taken remedial steps.

The data released on the dark web by the criminals includes financial statements and information about clients. The gang claims to stolen about 1Tb of confidential data.

file list brown formanAccording to Wikipedia, Brown-Forman, based in Louisville, Kentucky, manufactures well-known brands such as Jack Daniel's, Early Times, Old Forester, Woodford Reserve, GlenDronach, BenRiach, Glenglassaugh, Finlandia, Herradura, Korbel, and Chambord around the world.

The company formerly owned two other popular brands, Southern Comfort and Tuaca, before selling them off in 2016.

The last figure given for Brown-Forman's global revenue by Wikipedia dates from 2016; at that time, Brown-Forman was pulling in US$3.08 billion (A$4.28 billion).

Contacted for comment, a Brown-Forman spokesperson told iTWire: "Brown-Forman was the victim of a cyber security attack. Our quick actions upon discovering the attack prevented our systems from being encrypted.

"Unfortunately, we believe some information, including employee data, was impacted. We are working closely with law enforcement, as well as world class third-party data security experts, to mitigate and resolve this situation as soon as possible. There are no active negotiations.

"Protecting the privacy and security of personal information is extremely important to us. The company deeply regrets any inconvenience or concern this may cause. Keeping information secure is a priority for Brown-Forman. We know this news comes at an already challenging time and may be disconcerting given the uncertainty of the situation.

"We encourage everyone to stay vigilant and alert to potential cybersecurity threats, including avoiding phishing attempts and malicious websites."


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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