Waterloo Brewing loses 2.1 million in cyber attack

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Graphic by Jaime Mere

Waterloo Brewing was the victim of a “sophisticated” cyber-attack where the thief impersonated a creditor employee and requested fraudulent wire transfers resulting in over $2 million in losses for the company.

The brewery, which is located in Kitchener off of Bingemans Centre Drive, has also initiated analysis of all other activity and transactions across all the bank account involved with the company to ensure no further compromise happens. 

“Outside of what has been communicated in our press release I have no further comment at this time as it is an active investigation and we are actively engaged with the authorities,” said George Croft, president and chief executive officer of Waterloo Brewing in an email statement.

“When we have something material to share we will do so. Thanks for your interest and understanding on this matter.”

The brewery has explained that though there was a breach in their finances, personal customer information was not leaked and that clients are not at risk.

At this time, the company does not believe that its systems were breached or that any personal information of its customers is at risk.

– Waterloo Brewing, press release

“Upon becoming aware of the incident this week, the company initiated an analysis of all other transaction activity across all bank accounts of the company, as well as a review of its internal systems and controls, including its computer networks,” Waterloo Brewing stated in a press release on their website.

“The company has engaged its third-party IT services provider to conduct an independent investigation of the company’s systems and is working with its auditors and bank to ensure that appropriate steps have been taken to mitigate the chance of any future occurrences of similar cyberattacks.  At this time, the company does not believe that its systems were breached or that any personal information of its customers is at risk.”

Waterloo Brewing is the largest Canadian-owned brewery in Ontario, also owning the rights to Seagrams coolers and also owning the exclusive rights in Canada to Landshark beer and Margaritaville coolers.

“The company has notified the appropriate authorities including local police services, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and the United States’ Finance Crimes and Enforcement Network (FinCEN).  The company is working with authorities in furtherance of their investigations as applicable,” Waterloo Brewing continued in their press release.

Though the business has stated that this breach will not affect their business in stores or in operations moving forward, they also have not recovered any of the stolen funds and there is no assurance that they will see even a portion of the money in the future.

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