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Cyber attack turns off the taps at Barcelona's Damm brewery

·1-min read

MADRID (Reuters) -Spain's second biggest beer maker Damm halted output at its main brewery outside Barcelona after a cyber attack hit its computer systems earlier this week, a spokesperson said on Friday.

The attack hit the brewery on Tuesday night and for a few hours the plant in El Prat de Llobregat, which produces 7 million hectolitres of beer a year, was "entirely paralyzed", Olga Vidal, Damm's head of communications, told Reuters on Friday.

"IT services made possible a partial resumption of production and we expect to operate at 100% in the coming hours," she said.

She declined to say whether a ransom was demanded of the company or if the maker of Estrella Damm lager had paid anything to the hackers behind the attack.

She wouldn't confirm whether the company had notified the police and local police declined to comment.

Damm bottles several other beer brands beside its iconic Estrella Damm and has honoured all deliveries to bars, restaurants and supermarkets thanks to existing stocks, Vidal said.

Several high-profile cyber attacks in the past year, including the Colonial Pipeline hack, which caused panic buying of fuel across the eastern U.S. in May, have jolted governments and companies into reviewing their security policies.

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.

Last month, the Autonomous University of Barcelona was hit by a ransomware attack, while earlier this year hackers knocked out several services at Spain's employment agency.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Nathan AllenEditing by Mark Potter)

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