A ransomware attack appears to have targeted Americold, a U.S. cold storage firm and downed operations. The organization provides temperature-controlled warehouses and transportation for operations that require refrigeration, such as supplying the COVID-19 vaccine.
The firm stated in its regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that its IT network experienced an unspecified "cybersecurity incident" in November. It said that it "took immediate steps to help contain the incident and implemented business continuity plans," as well as working with law enforcement, cybersecurity experts, and legal counsel.
The day of the "cybersecurity incident," a truck driver tweeted, "At a Americold and their systems are down. They are unable to assign me to a door."
Americold is the type of target cybercriminals like to hit with "human-operated" ransomware. Given the nature of its business, a ransomware attack that causes operational outages could have serious consequences for customers. This, in turn, could motivate the organization, which made more than $1.4 billion in 2020, to pay a ransom.
The CEO of CyberSmart said that the incident showed the importance of supply chain cybersecurity, calling on businesses to not only pay attention to their own cybersecurity practices but also those of their distributors and suppliers. Phil Muncaster "Americold Operations Downed by Cyber-Attack" infosecurity-magazine.com (Nov. 18, 2020).