Ransomware attack on food giant Dole Food Company blocked North America production

The producers of fruit and vegetables Dole Food Company disclosed a ransomware attack that impacted its operations.

Dole Food Company is an Irish agricultural multinational corporation, it is one of the world’s largest producers of fruit and vegetables, operating with 38,500 full-time and seasonal employees who supply some 300 products in 75 countries. Dole reported 2021 revenues of $6.5 billion.

The company announced that it has suffered a ransomware attack that impacted its operations.

The company did not provide details about the attack, such as the ransomware family that infected its systems.

“Dole plc (DOLE:NYSE) announced today that the company recently experienced a cybersecurity incident that has been identified as ransomware.” reads a notice published by the company. “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 immediately launched an investigation into the security breach with the help of leading third-party forensics experts, it also notified authorities about the incident.

After a few days, it became clear that the cyberattack seriously disrupted Dole’s operations, causing a temporary shutdown of production plants and affecting food supplies to U.S. grocery stores.

The security breach led to some Texas and New Mexico stores being unable to stock Dole salad kits for several days, reported the website Entrepreneur.com.

A Texan grocery store shared on Facebook a memo sent by Dole that was informing it that the company was forced to shut down its systems in North America to contain the attack.

“Good afternoon, Dole Food Company is in the midst of a Cyber Attack and have subsequently shut down our systems throughout North America. Our IT group is working hard on mitigating the issues in order to get our systems up and running ASAP. Our plants are shut down for the day and all shipments are on hold. All our businesses are implementing our Crisis Management Protocol to resume “business as usual” post haste, inclusive of our Manual Backup Program if needed.” reads the notice.

“Please bear with us as we navigate our way and hopefully we will minimize this event.Thank you for your patience and your salesperson will keep you updated and informed of our progress.Sincerely.”

At this time it is unclear if threat actors have stolen data from the system at the food company giant.

Follow me on Twitter: @securityaffairs and Facebook and Mastodon

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Dole Food Company)

The post Ransomware attack on food giant Dole Food Company blocked North America production appeared first on Security Affairs.