Reports have emerged that the nefarious Black Basta ransomware group, notorious for wreaking havoc on entities such as Sobeys and Yellow Pages Canada, has unleashed its malevolence upon Alamos Gold. The mining industry cybersecurity expert Josh Rubin divulged this unsettling revelation, sending shivers down the spines of investors and stakeholders alike.
Alamos Gold, a stalwart in the industry, boasts a workforce exceeding 1,900 individuals and commands the operations of three esteemed mines across North America. The Young-Davidson and Island gold mines stand proudly in the northern expanse of Ontario, Canada, while the Mulatos mine adorns the landscape of Sonora state in Mexico.
Following the calamitous cyber onslaught, Alamos Gold’s share price experienced a downturn, closing at C$16.28 per share, a 0.7% decrease. Over the past 52 weeks, the company’s shares have oscillated between C$13.35 and C$20.20, emblematic of the tumultuous journey investors have endured. With a market capitalization of approximately C$6.5 billion ($4.8bn), the wounding effects of the cyberattack reverberate across the financial landscape.
Mining Industry’s Vulnerability to Cyber Attacks
The pernicious infiltration of Alamos Gold’s digital infrastructure serves as a grim reminder of the escalating digital security threats besieging the mining sector. This unfortunate episode underscores the vulnerability of mineral extraction enterprises to malevolent cyber assailants.
Previous incidents within the mining industry have unfolded as distressing episodes of cyber warfare. Anglo American, a global mining behemoth, grappled with compromised email distribution channels, enduring the ignominy of a vulgar communication sent to its subscribers. Similarly, Freeport-McMoRan fell victim to a cyberattack, albeit of a milder nature, with the company downplaying its impact on production. Rio Tinto, in a seismic event in March of 2023, reported a monumental cyberattack, releasing the personal data of current and former employees onto the dark web.
The annals of mining industry lore are replete with tales of cyber malevolence. Vancouver-based Copper Mountain Mining, now under the aegis of Hudbay Minerals, faced a ransomware attack with devastating consequences, precipitating the shuttering of its Canadian treatment plant for a harrowing six days.
According to the EY Global Information Security survey, an alarming 54% of mining and metals companies have undergone significant cyberattacks, amplifying the apprehensions of top executives who worry about their capacity to combat such insidious threats.