The Russian branch of Dr Pepper, which is considered among the oldest beverage brands, has allegedly suffered a cyberattack.
The threat actors behind the attack targeted the Russian outlet and claimed to have stolen database records estimated to contain 265996 lines, 5706 user emails, passwords, IPs, phone numbers, and payment details, among other information.
In this particular instance, the threat actor behind the attack exploited an admin vulnerability in the outlet’s website. The stolen data, which was alleged to have details of 5,706 customers’ emails and other information, was added to a popular hacker‘s forum.
The Russian-Ukraine Conflict
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, many companies have curtailed operations in the country. However, Keurig Dr Pepper, a leading producer and distributor of Dr Pepper, drew criticism as several reports claimed that the organization remained in Russia and continued exporting its products through the country via Poland.
In response to the call for boycott, Keurig Dr Pepper’s VP – Corporate Communications Vicki Draughn released and official statement clearing the air, adding that they did not distribute any products in Russia.
“Keurig Dr Pepper does not manufacture, sell, or distribute any products in Russia. Our brands, including Dr Pepper, Canada Dry, Sunkist, 7UP, A&W, Snapple and Schweppes, should not have been included or shown at this meeting. In many countries outside of North America, the manufacturing and distribution rights to certain brands in our portfolio are owned by other independent companies,” her media statement said.
US and Russia have been at loggerheads with one another following the multiple sanctions imposed by the former on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine, its annexation of Crimea, and its alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
These sanctions have targeted individuals, businesses, and entire sectors of the Russian economy, intending to pressure the Russian government to “change its behavior”.
On March 18, 2022, the Congressional Study Group on Foreign Relations and National Security met to examine the wide range of sanctions that the United States and its allies have imposed on Russia and Belarus in response to their invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions being implemented are the most severe and comprehensive sanctions ever imposed on a major economic power.
Anticipating the situation and to counter the general public criticism, US-based businesses quickly shut shop in Russia as the occupation of Ukraine heightened in March 2022.
Till now, more than 1,000 companies have publicly announced limiting or ending their business interests in Russia to meet the bare minimum legally required by international sanctions. Some companies including Dr Pepper continued to maintain their presence in Russia in other manner.
Hackers exploit Russian-Ukraine war
The Russian-Ukraine war has paved the way for many new threat actors to take advantage of the situation, and both countries have been involved in mitigating new cyberattacks.
Companies that moved out of Russia or openly criticized the occupation got hacked by Russia-backed threat actors, while the companies that stayed back in the country were targeted by pro-Ukraine hackers.
For instance, Nestlé decided to retain is business in Russia. The Anonymous group subsequently threatened to attack them.
The Anonymous successfully infiltrated the systems of Nestle on March 22, 2022, releasing 10GB of confidential data. The leaked information included company emails, passwords, and information related to business clients.
In December 2022, VTB Bank, a state-owned financial institution in Russia, experienced the biggest DDoS attack. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to a surge in cyber attacks, causing significant financial loss for both nations.
Dr Pepper is produced and sold by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which owns several other popular beverage brands, including 7UP, Snapple, and Canada Dry. It is widely available in the United States and many other countries worldwide. Dr Pepper comes in various forms, such as cans, bottles, and fountains.