The Daily Scoop: Companies face comms crisis as cyberattacks cause disruptions

Plus: Doritos draws media hype with cheesy new record, Hollywood strike’s impact is felt across the pond.


The same hackers who infiltrated the cyber systems of a number of casinos and hotels struck other victims in a variety of industries, Reuters reported.

David Bradbury, chief security officer of Okta, an identity management company, told Reuters that five clients of their clients were victimized by hacking groups since last month. One group threatened additional hacks against MGM if they didn’t “strike a deal,” Reuters reported.

“MGM and Caesars lost market value last week as stock prices fell, and MGM is yet to recover from various operations disrupted at the hotels and gaming venues it owns from Las Vegas to Macau,” per Reuters. The breach caused a variety of problems ranging from locking guests out of their rooms to crippling slot machines, the Washington Post reported.

“We’ve seen consistently over the past six to 12 months, a ramp up in these types of attacks,” Bradbury told Reuters.

A separate attack struck Clorox in August, creating massive operational disruptions which appear to be creating product shortages in stores, according to ABC News.

Why it matters:

It should be crystal clear by now that any crisis comms plan needs to have strategies to deal with fallout from potential cyberattacks and hackers.

“The hacks have cast fresh spotlight on ransomware attacks – cyber intrusions that affect hundreds of companies every year, from healthcare providers to telecom firms,” Reuters reported.

The aftereffects from these attacks and hacks is significant and can impact the trust consumers and stakeholders have with a brand if they are slow to respond or fail to let people know what’s going on.

These incidents also demonstrate the variety of trouble that hackers and attackers could cause — and show that you likely need more than one response plan ready to go. You could be dealing with a ransom scenario like MGM, a production disruption like Clorox, or a more common data breach.

Get to know your IT team and identify potential vulnerabilities. As always, stay prepped with statements for customers, investors and stakeholders.


Editor’s Top Picks:

  • Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden said that he does not think that Ye (Kanye West) “meant what he said” when he made antisemitic comments last year, CNN reported. During a podcast interview, “In Good Company with Nicolai Tangen,” Gulden said that Ye’s previous comments, which resulted in the cancelled Adidas collab, were clearly negative. He still went on to say that West is very creative and the nine-year partnership was “one of the most successful collabs in the history” of the company. Public figures have to temper their remarks especially about controversial, polarizing figures like West. Even if their collaboration was successful, Ye’s comments went beyond the pale. Defending him at this point re-sets the media cycle as people were ready to move on and once again connects Adidas to a radioactive person.
  • Doritos set a tasty new world record after recently dipping a giant nacho chip into cheese dip in Somerset, England. The goal was to see how far the cheese pull would stretch while a helicopter suspended the huge chip in the air. The cheese stretched to 49 feet without breaking, an apparent world record. Brands are creative and can turn anything into a PR stunt in the best way. Look for ways your own brand can pull off a daring or positive feat that garners media buzz and gets people talking about you.
  • The twin writers and actors strikes are impacting more than just Hollywood – Britain’s film industry is also feeling the pinch. Huge Hollywood productions are an important aspect of Britain’s television and film industry, but the strike majorly slowed – or stopped – productions across soundstages in Britain. Nearly 80% of members of Bectu, the British union that covers film workers, said that their jobs were impacted by the strike and three-quarters were out of work. Stay strong, comms, PR professionals and industry peers.

Sherri Kolade is a writer at Ragan Communications. When she is not with her family, she enjoys watching Alfred Hitchcock-style films, reading and building an authentically curated life that includes more than occasionally finding something deliciously fried. Follow her on LinkedIn. Have a great PR story idea? Email her at



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