The asset manager in Quebec Worker Savings has more than $ 1.5 billion in stakes in Colonial Pipeline, which was forced to halt all activities after a May 7 cyber attack in the form of a “ ransom program. ”
“Yes, Caisse has a stake in the Colonial pipeline, this was confirmed by a Caisse de Depot spokesman Maxime Chagnon, which was reached on Sunday afternoon. We are in contact with the company in order to closely follow the situation. We know the company is taking steps to identify The nature and extent of this cyber attack and restarting the system as quickly and safely as possible. ”
Colonial is transporting gasoline and diesel to more than 8,800 kilometers of pipelines across the United States. CNBC reported at 6 p.m. Sunday that its four major divisions remain closed, but some minor sections have been returned to service.
Ransomware is a malicious program that prevents access to computer data, explains the Canadian Cybersecurity Page Center. When ransomware infects a device, it locks its screen or encrypts the files it contains. Typically, the perpetrator of the attack demands a ransom paid in digital currency such as Bitcoin, because this type of transfer is not traceable.
Caisse’s specific involvement in Colonial, a private company, remains classified. According to the latest annual report, Caisse had a stake of more than 1.5 billion as of December 31, 2020. In November 2011, Caisse made $ 850 million to buy back 16.55% of Colonial’s shares from ConocoPhillips.
Cybersecurity has become a problem
Cyber attacks are fast becoming one of the biggest risks facing businesses. Insurance company Promutuel had to halt withdrawals of customers on premiums from mid-December through early February following a computer attack, with the pressure one can imagine on the premiums of the company’s liquidity.
Investors are expected to place increased importance on IT security for their portfolio companies.
Maxim Shaagnon adds: “Cybersecurity is one of the risks that Caisse scrupulously assesses in its investments, as it represents an increasingly important risk faced by many companies in so many sectors of the economy here and in the world.”
At a conference last March, the president of the investment firm Novacap, Pascal Tremblay, said that cybersecurity will play an exceptional role in the daily lives of companies in the future, and that they will have to make significant investments in the future. this chapter .