The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority’s online services and supply chain are still suffering from a cyber attack on Christmas Day.

Nearly three weeks after the attack, the SLGA website was down on Friday, and the authority was unable to comment. A government spokesperson said in an email that more details would be released on Monday. 

The attack was first announced in a news release on Dec. 28, which stated that the incident was under investigation and didn’t elaborate on the extent of the damage.

The release said the organization would bring the systems back online once the incident was addressed, but after several weeks liquor stores are still operating with limited inventory because they can’t make proper orders.

Willow Park Wines & Spirits is one of many liquor stores that’s been facing limited stock for several weeks since the liquor authority was hacked. 

“We just haven’t been able to get any product in and customers obviously aren’t happy about that,” Derek Brack, manager of Willow Park said. 

Willow Park, as well as other retailers, have had orders limited to the top 50 most popular products from the SLGA — like Crown Royal, Wiser’s and Apothic Red.

Brack said his sales are down from December, but that’s not uncommon for January and February. 

“I don’t think it’s hitting us as hard as other places are letting on, but it’s definitely hurt,” Brack said. “I do have people coming in, they’re looking for something and obviously we don’t have it because we can’t get it in, so they leave with nothing.”

He said Willow Park employees receive alcohol training and try to find substitutes if they’re out of stock.

Brack believes the SLGA is expected to resume operations next week, which will bring in more liquor to the store. He said he doesn’t put blame on the SLGA. 

“It’s nobody’s fault, other than the person that hacked into the system. It’s unfortunate but these things happen,” he said.

Local producers operating unhindered

Local producers aren’t being significantly affected by the SLGA’s online hiatus, according to Mark Heise, head of Rebellion Brewing Company in Regina. They are still able to send their stock to distributors, including SLGA stores, even if it’s been made more challenging to meet orders. 

“Most of us directly sell products to the retailers ourselves, so we don’t necessarily have to go through the SLGA for a lot of that,” Heise said. “We’ve had to dig out the phone book and phone the numbers directly and figure out how to send them invoices and get the beer delivered and all that stuff.”

While communication has been difficult — he said communicating with the SLGA has been more challenging since they can’t communicate by email — he’s primarily playing a waiting game to see if any information about Rebellion was taken. 

Rebellion Brewing Company in Regina said it’s still able to distribute it’s stock to retailers. (Matthew Howard/CBC)

“Obviously, we have concerns as a supplier and a licensee if any of our data has been stolen,” he said.

Heise said he met with the SLGA last week, but didn’t press them for details on the hacking, preferring to let the “IT people do their thing and when it’s fixed, it’s fixed.”

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)



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