ne of the largest producers and distributors of fresh fruits and vegetables shut down its operations in the United States this week following an alleged cyberattack.
Dole Food Company fresh vegetables division senior vice president Emanuel Lazopoulos wrote in a February 10 memo that the company was “in the midst of a Cyber Attack,” prompting it to “shut down our systems throughout North America.”
Dole sent this memo to various supermarkets after customers complained about popular Dole food products like prepackaged salads, including 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,” the memo further read. “Please bear with us as we navigate our way and hopefully we will minimize this event.”
(Related: Last spring, the corrupt FBI warned that these types of cyberattacks would be ramping up, particularly against food companies.)
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Dole spokesman William Goldfield confirmed the ransomware incident in his own statement, which was posted to the company’s website. It explains that a “cybersecurity incident” was “identified as ransomware,” and that the company “moved quickly to contain the threat.”
According to Goldfield, Dole also “engaged leading third-party cybersecurity experts, who have been working in partnership with Dole’s internal teams to remediate the issue and secure systems.”
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