Nestlé says claims by hacker group Anonymous that it has released 10GB of company data have “no foundation”.

The band of hackers said last night it had leaked thousands of Nestlé emails, passwords and client contacts “in retaliation for continuing the company’s business in Russia”.

But the fmcg giant this morning downplayed the claims of the hacktivist collective to The Grocer.

“This claim of a cyberattack against Nestlé and subsequent data leak has no foundation,” a Nestlé spokesman said.

“It relates to a case from February this year, when some randomised and predominantly publicly available test data of a B2B nature was made accessible unintentionally online for a short period of time,” they added.

Anonymous tweeted a link directing the public to a website containing a file titled for download.

An investigation by Cybernews found the download contained files including Nestle Orders.txt, Nestle partial 1.txt, Nestle Passwords.txt, and Nestle Payments.txt. Its analysis found the data sample released by Anonymous amounted to 5.7MB.

It is unclear whether the cache of data comes from a new hacking activity or from previous breaches, as Nestlé has indicated.

Nestlé has been called out by Anonymous as a “pariah firm” for doing little to sever ties with Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The company has become the target of reams of anti-war social media content.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also criticised the Swiss-food firm.

“‘Good food. Good life.’ This is the slogan of Nestlé. Your company that refuses to leave Russia,” Zelenskyy said in a weekend address to the Swiss population. “Even now – when there are threats from Russia to other European countries. Not only to us. When there is even nuclear blackmail from Russia.”

Nestlé said it had “significantly scaled back our activities in Russia” and “stopped all imports and exports from Russia, except for essential products”.

According to reports, these essential products include baby food, cereal, tailored nutrition and therapeutic petfoods.

“We no longer make investments or advertise our products. We do not make a profit from our remaining activities. The fact that we, like other food companies, supply the population with important food does not mean that we simply continue as before. At the same time, we fully support all efforts to end the war and return peace to the region,” A Nestlé spokesman told The Grocer.

Ukraine PM Denys Shmyhal said last week he had spoken on the phone with Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider “about the side effect of staying in Russian market”.

“Unfortunately, he shows no understanding. Paying taxes to the budget of a terrorist country means killing defenseless children and mothers. Hope that Nestlé will change its mind soon,” Shmyhal said.

Unilever and Mondelez have also been called out by Ukrainian officials. Other fmcg companies, among them PepsiCo, Danone, L’Oréal, Carlsberg and Anheuser-Busch InBev are also still manufacturing products and selling them in Russia.

The Russian Embassy in the UK yesterday tweeted a statement from Russian President Vladamir Putin saying: “We appreciate the position of those foreign companies who continue working in Russia despite the brazen pressure from US and its vassals. They are sure to find additional opportunities for growth in the future.”