cybercrime; cyber attackLion Co has urged Australians to be vigilant following a cyber attack that caused a major IT outage at the company last week.

The ransomware attack took place last Monday and the brewer is continuing to work to bring its systems safely back online. It’s an important reminder that companies need to be more vigilant than ever about cyber security while their employees work from home during COVID-19.

“We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to be vigilant about cyber safety, particularly in terms of telephone, SMS, email and social media phishing scams requesting personal information or payment of money. It’s advisable to avoid opening attachments from unknown senders and ensure that any communications are legitimate before responding,” Lion said.

Temporary beer shortages have resulted from last week’s cyber attack on Lion, with IT teams and expert cyber advisors working throughout the weekend on the issue.

“However, there is still some way to go before we can resume our normal manufacturing operations and customer service,” Lion admitted.

Across Lion’s Australian and New Zealand adult beverages businesses, the brewer continues to have limited visibility of its products in its systems. The latest impacts include a number of temporary beer shortages or out-of-stocks across both packaged and keg brands.

Lion said restoration is taking time, but noted it’s important that this process is done methodically and safely before resuming normal business operations.

“There remains no evidence that any of the information contained in our system (including financial or personal information) has been affected,” Lion added.”This is something that we will continue to review closely as part of our ongoing investigations. We have notified the authorities of the incident; and we will work alongside the relevant government authorities, law enforcement agencies and privacy regulators, as required.”

Cybercrime is on the increase during COVID-19. Cybercriminals are attacking the computer networks and systems of individuals, businesses and even global organisations at a time when focus has shifted to the health crisis. The Lion situation follows follows similar attacks on logistics giant Toll and steel maker BlueScope earlier this year.

“Our research shows that from February to April cyber attacks globally increased by 30% to 40%,” Yaniv Hoffman, Radware Vice President Technologies, told iTWire. “The remote office has become a significant resource, but also a significant weakness.

“As technology and automation has become more advanced, bad bots are getting more sophisticated. They do a better job of mimicking human behaviour, through such techniques as simulating keystrokes and mouse movements to tweak security screening. These sophisticated bots can take over user accounts, they can scrape data, they can alter inventory details and generally disrupt services,” said Hoffman. “And more than three quarters of user organisations have cybersecurity systems that are unable to distinguish between good bots and bad bots.

“This is having a severe impact. Since the COVID-19 lockdowns began we have seen many more successful phishing attempts.”

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