Nestlé has brushed off claims from a group of hackers that announced it had leaked a tranche of data from the Swiss food giant.

Hacking collective Anonymous yesterday (22 March) announced it had published 10GB of material from the KitKat and Maggi maker. Anonymous said the leak was a response to Nestlé continuing to do business in Russia.

The group also posted a link to a website that hosted a file entitled Inside, there were further files called Nestle Orders.txt, Nestle partial 1.txt, Nestle Passwords.txt and Nestle Payments.txt.

In response, Nestlé dismissed Anonymous’ assertions. “This recent claim of a cyber attack against Nestlé and subsequent data leak has no foundation,” the world’s largest food maker insisted.

“It relates to a case from February this year, when some randomised and predominantly publicly available test data of a B2B nature was made accessible unintentionally online for a short period of time. We quickly investigated and no further action was deemed necessary.”

Nestlé added: “Cybersecurity is one of our top priorities. We continuously monitor the IT landscape and take all actions needed to ensure we stay cybersecurity-resilient.”

The company, meanwhile, also announced today it is to further cut the number of products it sells in Russia, acting after criticism from Ukraine’s President Zelensky.

Cybersecurity has been rising up corporate agendas and, in recent years, some major names in the food industry have been hacked. A recent prominent example was the breach last May at Brazil-based meat giant JBS, which saw its servers supporting the company’s North American and Australian IT systems targeted by what it called “an organised cybersecurity attack”.

The war in Ukraine has sparked concerns that companies in nations opposing Russia’s invasion must prepare for a cybersecurity backlash.

On the flip side, Anonymous, however, has declared it is officially at war “against the Russian government”, taking credit for a number of cyber incidents, including distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against Russian government platforms and broadcasters.

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For more on Just Food’s coverage on how the conflict is affecting the food industry, please visit our dedicated microsite

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