An aerial shot of Americold's Atlanta campus. IMAGE: Americold

Cold storage company Americold reports cyberattack to SEC

Cold storage giant Americold was hit with a cyberattack last week, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

On April 26, the company “began to receive evidence that its computer network was affected by a cybersecurity incident,” it wrote in the SEC filing. “The Company immediately implemented containment measures and took operations offline to secure its systems and reduce disruption to its business and customers.”

Atlanta-based Americold is the world’s largest publicly traded real estate investment trust focused on the ownership, operation, acquisitions and development of temperature-controlled warehouses. The company controls 250 warehouses across the world — most of which are used by food producers, distributors and retailers.

Americold said it is working with cybersecurity experts to determine the scope and nature of the incident, and has reported the attack to law enforcement.

“The Company is taking action to resume normal operations at impacted facilities so that it can continue to support customers,” it wrote. “The Company will continue to take appropriate measures to further safeguard the integrity of its information technology infrastructure, data and customer information.”

Bleeping Computer first reported the attack on Friday, obtaining a memo from the company saying that systems would be down into this week.

An Americold spokesperson referred Recorded Future News to a statement identical to what was submitted to the SEC but did not respond to questions about whether it was a ransomware attack.

Customers took to Reddit to confirm that the company was telling them to cancel or reschedule deliveries except for those involving critical perishable products, according to the memo seen by Bleeping Computer.

“Their phones are down and they had the truck entrance barricaded off with the main entrance gates shut with no one manning the guard shack,” one Reddit user said.

This is the second cyberattack Americold has faced following another incident in November 2020.

Ransomware gangs have increasingly gone after food and beverage supply chain companies like Americold, with 52 ransomware attacks on the food and beverage industry in 2022, according to the incident response firm Dragos.

Dragos CEO Rob Lee warned at the RSA Conference in San Francisco last week that ransomware actors are increasingly taking advantage of companies’ digital transformation projects – targeting businesses that can no longer function without digital systems.

“I think this is a hallmark of what is to come,” he said. “That hyperconnectivity and scalability of automation is what's allowing ransomware authors to do what they're doing.”

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig

is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.