Alcohol producers and distributors have difficulties with the supply of products
Alcohol producers and distributors were unable to ship products to their customers on the first holidays of May due to a large-scale failure of the Unified State Automated Alcohol Accounting Information System (EGAIS). This was reported to Vedomosti by four participants in this market, a representative of a major retailer and an employee of the relevant association. Apparently, these are DDoS attacks. At least the “team of cybersecurity enthusiasts” Disbalanser, which supports Ukraine, stated its involvement in them on the Telegram channel. In her reports, she spoke about the attacks on the EGAIS website on May 2 and 3. Advertisements calling for a collective attack on the system’s servers were also placed on the resources of the association, which calls itself the “IT Army of Ukraine”. Among the goals there are the portals egais.ru, service.egais.ru and check.egais.ru. On the evening of May 4, the first two sites periodically issued an error “the server stopped responding”, the third did not work.
The attacks on EGAIS began on May 2, says an employee of the company – a producer of strong alcohol. More obvious failures in the system occurred the next day, added the president of the Union of Alcohol Producers Igor Kosarev and a representative of Ladoga. The failures at the Fort wine company began only on May 4, said its executive director Alexander Lipilin. But the Russian producer of spirits Beluga Group did not record any problems in the work of EGAIS, said a source close to the group. Her spokeswoman declined to comment.
Due to the large-scale failure, factories cannot accept tanks with alcohol, and customers – shops and distributors – can get finished products that have already been delivered to them, explained an employee of the company – a manufacturer of spirits. At around 11:00 on May 4, EGAIS informed market participants about the cessation of attacks, he continued. The situation with system failures due to DDoS attacks has stabilized, Kosarev confirms. But this did not happen to everyone: on May 4, from 11:00 to 16:00, the supply of Fort products to retail chains and restaurants was actually disrupted, Lipilin said. According to him, the company’s employees failed to load about 70% of invoices into EGAIS. Ladoga has accumulated about 1,500 documents in the queue, and by the morning of May 4, the problem had been partially resolved – 600 documents had been sent to the system, a company spokesman said. Due to the unavailability of the egais.ru server, paperwork problems are widespread, according to a representative of the alcohol importer. Some operations are not recorded in the system at all, and some – are delayed, adds an employee of the company – a manufacturer of spirits. From the evening of May 4, his company plans to stop shipments for a day: warehouses of finished products are overcrowded due to the inability to move goods from factories to distribution centers. Until all applications pending since mid-May 3 are processed, there will be delays in the system, he said. Ladoga expects that the difficulties in the operation of the system will be finally resolved within one or two days.
Vedomosti’s request to the Ministry of Finance was forwarded to Rosalkogolregulirovaniye (PAP). The representative of this service stated that EGAIS operates on a full-time basis. “A number of organizations may increase the waiting time for the system to respond to the fixation of documents due to the high load of channels of providers,” he said, without specifying which providers are in question. The request to Centrinform, which provides technical support to EGAIS, went unanswered.
Despite system failures, retailers have no problem selling alcohol, says one. The end user of the attack on EGAIS will not be affected in any way, says Vadim Drobiz, director of the Center for Federal and Regional Alcohol Markets Research (CIFRRA). According to him, retail chains have formed sufficient stocks, especially before the May holidays. They will be able to cover more than one day of downtime, Lipilin agrees. Now the retail, according to him, is working normally, the failure in the system did not affect it, but if it is longer, a number of positions may not be on the shelves. Despite some nervousness in the market, as well as the inconvenience of manufacturers and distributors, the monthly sales of companies are likely to remain within the planned volumes, Drobiz said. According to Lipilin, Fort’s costs so far are related only to downtime and the need to work overtime after the resumption of EGAIS.
Retailers (X5 Group, Magnit), alcohol market participants (for example, Golden Beam) and cybersecurity companies (Kaspersky Lab and Group-IB) did not respond to Vedomosti’s inquiries. Simple declined to comment.