Fruit and vegetable fans could be forced to tweak their diet after one of the biggest firms in the industry has had its operations disrupted by a ransomware attack.
Dole Food Company issued a press release saying it suffered a ransomware attack that had a “limited” impact on its operations.
The company said that it’s currently investigating “the scope of the incident”, with law enforcement being notified, and a “leading third-party cybersecurity expert” has been brought in to remediate the issue and secure the company’s systems.
While Dole's initial assessment of the incident is that it was “limited”, other sources are saying that the attack was disruptive enough to force the company to temporarily suspend some of its operations.
Thus, BleepingComputer found a Texas grocery store memo that was leaked on Facebook, in which it was said that Dole had to shut down its production plants in North America, and suspend shipments.
“Dole Food Company is in the midst of a cyberattack, and [we] have subsequently shut down our systems throughout North America,” it was said in the memo. “Our plants are shut down for the day, and all shipments are on hold,” the media cited the announcement.
Other details about the ransomware attack are not known at this time. We don’t know who the threat actor is, which ransomware variant was deployed, or which malware was used to compromise the company endpoints. We also don’t know exactly when the attack occurred. However, the media found that, for more than a week now, there’s been a shortage of prepackaged Dole salads. It’s difficult to say if these two incidents are connected.
As per the memo, Dole is looking to deploy a “Manual Backup Program”, which probably means it will switch to manual operations. That, while it might keep the business going, will definitely mean a slower pace for both production and distribution.
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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.