Sweden facing dry weekend as ransomware hits alcohol supplier

Sweden’s sole alcohol retailer, Systembolaget, has warned that drinks might soon sell out after a ransomware attack knocked out one of its main beverage suppliers.

Swedish beverage supplier Skanlog was recently hit with a North Korean ransomware attack, local media reports. The attack took out the company’s IT systems, meaning three large beverage warehouses couldn’t ship goods to Systembolaget’s retail shops.

Systembolaget is a state-owned chain of liquor stores, the only one in Sweden allowed to sell alcoholic beverages with over 3.5% alcohol by volume. According to Systembolaget’s statement, the supply disruptions at Skanlog affect a quarter of the retailer’s sales volume.

While no beverage shortages exist at the moment, the overall situation will depend on how fast Skanlog can resume operations. Meanwhile, the supplier could not say when it will resume shipping alcohol, leaving Swedes to stock up in advance.

According to Skanlog’s CEO Mona Zuko, the company was targeted by North Korean hackers armed with the Lockbit 3.0 ransomware strain. The attackers encrypted the company’s files on the night of April 21st.

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