Dole Food is one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of fresh fruits and vegetables. An alarming report reveals the company temporarily shuttered all operations across North America after a cyberattack earlier this month.
“Dole Food Company is in the midst of a Cyber Attack and have subsequently shut down our systems throughout North America,” Emanuel Lazopoulos, senior vice president at Dole’s Fresh Vegetables division, wrote in a memo to retailers on Feb. 10. The memo was obtained by CNN this week.
Dole sent the memo to supermarkets after customers complained about its prepackaged salads, which include salad blends, salad kits, and ready-to-eat salads, being out of stock.
“Our plants are shut down for the day and all our shipments are on hold.
“Please bear with us as we navigate our way and hopefully we will minimize this event,” the internal memo continued.
William Goldfield, the spokesperson for Dole, confirmed the ransomware incident in a statement released on the company’s website on Wednesday.
Dole plc announced today that the company recently experienced a cybersecurity incident that has been identified as ransomware.
Upon learning of this incident, Dole moved quickly to contain the threat and engaged leading third-party cybersecurity experts, who have been working in partnership with Dole’s internal teams to remediate the issue and secure systems.
The company has notified law enforcement about the incident and are cooperating with their investigation.
While continuing to investigate the scope of the incident, the impact to Dole operations has been limited.
What’s not clear is how long the company had to shutter production. There was no word if the company paid a ransom to hackers.
Add Dole to the growing list of incidents at US food plants. Some folks are convinced the nation’s food processing plants are ‘under attack’ after a series of fires (read: here & here & here). The FBI warned food plants to be alert for ransomware attacks last year.