Americold taken down by likely ransomware attack

Americold, one of the oldest companies in the United States, has been brought to a screeching halt following a cyberattack that has all the earmarks of a ransomware incident. Atlanta-based Americold Realty Trust (known colloquially as Americold) reported the following in a press release via Seeking Alpha:

On November 16, 2020, Americold Realty Trust (the “Company” or “Americold”) determined that its computer network was affected by a cybersecurity incident. As a precautionary measure, the Company took immediate steps to help contain the incident and implemented business continuity plans, where appropriate, to continue ongoing operations. The Company has notified and is working closely with law enforcement, cybersecurity experts and legal counsel.

Security, in all its forms, remains a top priority at Americold, and the Company will continue to seek to take all appropriate measures to further safeguard the integrity of its information technology infrastructure, data and customer information.

The 117-year-old Americold, which had $1.4 billion in revenue in 2019, has not given much more information than the quoted statement. Most cybersecurity experts outside of the investigation believe that ransomware is the culprit. The way that the services have collapsed all seem to indicate that Americold’s network was penetrated and subsequently locked-down via ransomware encryption. Additionally, truck drivers who work with Americold are reporting how this incident is playing out (that is, how it is affecting distribution).

The What’s Your 20 podcast, which is run by two truckers who work with the company, stated the following on Twitter:

The company was in the middle of expanding its already profitable enterprise when this attack occurred. First, Americold purchased, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the temperature-controlled warehouse giant Agro Merchants Group for $1.74 billion in October 2020. In early November, Americold Realty Trust acquired the New Jersey-based Hall’s Warehouse Corp. for $480 million.

Featured image: TechGenix photo illustration

Derek Kortepeter

Derek Kortepeter is a graduate of UCLA and tech journalist that is committed to creating an informed society with regards to Information Security. Kortepeter specializes in areas such as penetration testing, cryptography, cyber warfare, and governmental InfoSec policy.

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