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Sweden’s liquor shelves to run empty this week due to ransomware attack | #ransomware | #cybercrime


A ransomware attack on a Swedish logistics company has prompted warnings from the country’s sole liquor retailer that its top shelves in stores around the country may be empty by the end of the week. 

The directly affected company, Skanlog, is a critical distributor for Systembolaget, the Swedish government-owned retail chain with a monopoly on the sale of beverages stronger than 3.5% alcohol by volume.

Skanlog’s chief executive, Mona Zuko, told newspaper Dagens Industri that the incident was a ransomware attack from a group based in North Korea. The basis on which that attribution was made is not clear.

The logistics company is so important to Systembolaget that the company’s press officer, Teodor Almqvist, warned that certain beers, wines and spirits — and even paper bags — could be sold out within a few days.

All beverage categories at all stores throughout the country are affected. Systembolaget said there was no risk of “total drying out” but that certain brands were likely to disappear until deliveries started arriving again.

Skanlog has not suggested when operations might return to normal. Systembolaget’s spokesperson said the company had a backup plan if its distributor was unable to resume deliveries.

The incident comes as Sweden reforms its National Cyber Security Centre over what the government said was a failure to achieve “expected results,” with the body becoming a part of the country’s cyber and signals intelligence agency.

Earlier this year, a popular cloud-hosted services provider Tietoevry announced that one of its datacenters in Sweden “was partially subject to a ransomware attack,” affecting numerous customers and forcing stores to close across the country.

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