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Coca-Cola Investigating Hack Claims Made by Pro-Russia Group

Coca-Cola has launched an investigation after a cybercrime group claimed to have breached the company’s systems, but the hackers’ previous claims have been called into question.

The beverage giant said it has notified law enforcement and is trying to “determine the validity of the claim.”

The hacker group, named Stormous, claims to have stolen more than 161 Gb of data from Coca-Cola, offering to sell it for $65,000 or 1.6 bitcoin.

The cybercrime gang, which in March announced its support for the Russian government following its invasion of Ukraine, apparently selected Coca-Cola as its next target based on a poll run on its Telegram channel. It claimed to have hacked Coca-Cola less than a week after publishing the poll.

Stormous hack Coca Cola

Coca-Cola is one of the many Western companies that has suspended operations in Russia as a result of the attack on Ukraine.

The “Stormous ransomware” Telegram channel was created in April 2021, but the first posts currently shown there are from January 2022. The hackers appear to have targeted a wide range of organizations, including ones in the education, healthcare, financial, gaming, and government sectors, using their Telegram channel and a Tor-based website to make public the data allegedly stolen from victims.

They claim to have stolen credentials, documents, source code and other types of information from victims. They also claim to be using a “ransom virus,” which suggests they are encrypting data on victim systems.

Many of their messages are posted in both English and Arabic, and ransom notes are written in Arabic. The group appears to be financially motivated, but some of their statements are political.

The Stormous group’s claims were investigated in February and March by cybersecurity firms ZeroFox and SOCRadar, and both noted that none of Stormous’ claims had been verified. In addition, the cybersecurity companies pointed out that Stormous’ alleged victims are organizations which had previously been targeted by other threat actors that had already leaked data.

Stormous seems somewhat similar to the notorious Lapsus$ group, which has targeted major companies such as Microsoft, Okta, Ubisoft, Vodafone, Samsung, and NVIDIA in the past months. The Lapsus$ hacks have been confirmed, but most victims said impact was limited.

Several alleged Lapsus$ members, including its 17-year-old leader from the UK, have been identified by law enforcement. The group, which has mostly leveraged unsophisticated methods in its attacks, has not announced any new victims since late March.

Related: Lapsus$ Hackers Gained Access to T-Mobile Systems, Source Code

Related: The Chaos (and Cost) of the Lapsus$ Hacking Carnage

Related: Swissport Investigating Ransomware Group's Data Leak Claims

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.