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Russian agricultural watchdog suspects PepsiCo of cyber attack

December 05, 2017, 15:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Rosselkhoznadzor intends to apply to the national law enforcement agencies over possible commercial espionage of the American company PepsiCo

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© Marina Lystseva/TASS

MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. Russian agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor suspects US’ PepsiCo of a hacking attack to get access to confidential information from the Russian authorities, the spokesperson of the regulator Yulia Melano told reporters.

Earlier the Russian agency launched an internal check due claiming that PepsiCo got access to its document that was marked as "confidential."

According to the agency, the representative of PepsiCo showed the document in the course of Rosselkhoznadzor’s meeting with Soyuzmoloko (Union of milk producers). PepsiCo denies this fact.

"According to preliminary results of our internal check, none of the agency’s employees who have access to the company's confidential document, that was presented by vice-president PepsiCo (Wimm-Bill-Dann) in charge of corporate relations in Russia, Ukraine, CIS and Central Europe (Sergey Glushkov), could send it outside the organization. In this regard, the agency concluded that a hacking attack by the PepsiCo company might take place to gain access to classified information from the Russian authorities," Melano said.

Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor, Sergei Dankvert, his deputy Nikolai Vlasov and head of the Internal Veterinary Surveillance Service Tatyana Balagula, who took part in the meeting of representatives of Soyuzmoloko, could confirm that Glushkov had the document on hand.

Rosselkhoznadzor intends to apply to the national law enforcement agencies over possible commercial espionage of the American company PepsiCo, Melano said.

According to her the internal document that illegally got into the hands of representatives of the US company, contained information about the watchdog’s laboratory monitoring of milk processing plants, which are part of the PepsiCo corporation. By obtaining this information the US company had a competitive advantage over Russian companies and was ready for the monitoring, she said.

"This fact can be regarded as commercial espionage. Rosselkhoznadzor needs to inform law enforcement agencies about this fact and is going to do this in the near future," Melano noted.

Earlier, neither in the Rosselkhoznadzor, nor in PepsiCo specified which document was discussed.

However, the Vedomosti newspaper reported, referring to a letter signed by the deputy head of the watchdog Nikolai Vlasov, that the regulator urged strengthening control over the products of more than two dozen companies that are part of Danone or Wimm-Bill-Dann (owned by PepsiCo).

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