A brewery has been forced to halt beer production after a cyber attack paralysed its computer systems.
Estrella Damm – Spain’s second biggest beer maker – ceased output at its main brewery outside Barcelona after the incident earlier this week, a spokesperson confirmed.
The attack hit the brewery on Tuesday night and for a few hours the plant in El Prat de Llobregat, which produces seven million hectolitres of beer a year, was “entirely paralysed”, Olga Vidal, Damm’s head of communications, told Reuters.
“IT services made possible a partial resumption of production and we expect to operate at 100 per cent in the coming hours,” she said.
The brewery declined to say whether a ransom was demanded or if the maker of the popular Estrella Damm lager had paid anything to the hackers behind the attack.
The spokesperson also refused to whether the company had notified the authorities and local police declined to comment.
UK supplies of the Mediterranean lager, which is brewed under licence in this country, are not thought to be affected.
Damm bottles several other beer brands besides its iconic Estrella Damm and has completed all deliveries to bars, restaurants and supermarkets thanks to existing stocks.
It relies on computer-driven technology for its bottling process. The popular brand also has a long history of sustainable practices including only using certified green energy and 100 per cent natural, local ingredients to brew its beer.
In 2020, Estrella Damm replaced all plastic rings on canned packs with 100 per cent biodegradable and recyclable cardboard, removing 89 million rings, representing 260 tons of plastic from its business by the end of the process.
Estrella is brewed by Carlsberg Marston’s in the UK and on sale in pubs and off-sales outlets, including the main supermarkets. It is still produced according to the original 1876 recipe to preserve its unique flavour.
A European Union report released in October found the Covid-19 pandemic and rise of home working had created opportunities for cyber-criminals to flourish and led to a proliferation of so-called hackers for hire.
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