Under attack: Lion suffers second cyberattack and the Federal Government warns of an active cyberattack on Australian organisations

By Cameron Abbott, Keely O’Dowd and Rebecca Gill

News reports have revealed that Lion Beer Australia has suffered a second cyberattack within a week of falling victim to a ransomware attack. While Lion continues to recover from the first cyberattack, it must now investigate, respond and recover from this second attack.

Today, Lion announced it had received reports of Lion document lists posted online in recent days. It is continuing to investigate if any data has been removed from its system. Lion has also advised relevant authorities and regulators of the first incident.

Reports of Lion’s second cyberattack come at the same time as the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement that all levels of government and a wide range of Australian businesses (including health services and essential service providers) are being targeted by a “sophisticated foreign state-based-actor”. The Prime Minister made this announcement to remind the public of the threat, and that the Government remains vigilant. The Prime Minister advised organisations to take three simple proactive steps to protect themselves, which is all good advice:

  1. Patch your internet facing devices properly.
  2. Ensure you use multifactor authentication.
  3. Become an Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) partner to ensure you get the latest cyber threat advice.

The ACSC and the Department of Home Affairs have also released detailed advice and recommendations on such malicious attacks.

In making the announcement, the Prime Minister emphasised that cybersecurity is the responsibility of all Australians. The announcement and the second Lion cyber incident are reminders to all of us that unlike lightening, a cyberattack can strike twice in the same place and that Australian organisations may be vulnerable to an attack. Businesses should continue to improve their cyber resilience at every opportunity and follow the latest technical advice of the ACSC.

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