Dole Foods Reportedly Hit by Cyberattack, Disrupting Supplies of Fruits, Vegetables

A cyberattack on a major U.S. food company has reportedly been causing disruptions in the supply of fruit and vegetables nationwide. An undated memo to members of the Associated Wholesale Grocers informed store managers of the disruption. “Dole Food Company had a cyber-attack on Friday am that shut down their systems throughout North America,” the memo said. “Their IT group has been working all weekend to get their systems up and running ASAP but as of Sunday afternoon their network was still not up and running so they are doing a lot of manual processes, which is slowing all normal workflows to a minimum. “This is affecting the loading and processing of all orders so expect service levels to be affected. All Dole products (VA Salads, Fresh pack and Bananas) are being affected but the biggest impact has been to the Dole VA Salads due to the processing aspect.” “This is a very fluid situation so appreciate the patience,” the memo concluded. The memo was spotted in a grocery store in Hollister, Missouri, on Saturday, but the message appears to be referring to the previous weekend, Feb. 11-12.
The memo was seen posted in the produce section at a grocery story in Hollister, Missouri on Feb. 18, but appears to indicate the attack happened the previous weekend.
This memo was seen in the produce section at a grocery store in Hollister, Missouri, on Feb. 18, but appears to indicate the attack happened the previous weekend. (Lorri Wickenhauser / The Western Journal)
The Western Journal requested information from Dole about the cyberattack via email on Wednesday morning, but had not received a response by the time this story was published. Outside of a few mentions on social media early last week, there does not appear to have been much, if any, news coverage of the event. At least one grocery store employee confirmed the attack. “I work at a grocery store and was told today that Dole was hit with a cyber attack,” Twitter user Cindy Matharu posted on Feb. 14. The lack of news coverage may have been due to the fact that the Ohio train derailment and other disasters were dominating the headlines. Some evidently viewed the incident as a threat to the U.S. food supply. “Just a few days of interruptions will empty shelves pretty quick,” one Twitter user observed. Some were quick to note what appears to be an increasing number of incidents affecting food manufacturers and other critical industries. A few placed blame on the U.S. government rather than on external enemies. “[Three] train derailments and a gas line leak in a week, Dole is under cyber attack, food plants burning down is all sabotage. We are under attack. [President Joe] Biden is a threat to National Security,” one user tweeted. According to CBN News, cyberattacks increased 38 percent worldwide last year, and cybersecurity experts have warned more such attacks may be coming. CBN suggested January’s grounding of U.S. air traffic may have been the result of a cyberattack. While the Federal Aviation Administration attributed a computer outage to human error, CBN pointed out that Canada had a similar outage the same day. “This is what I would categorize as highly suspicious,” Eric Cole, a former CIA hacker, told the network. “It really does sound like a cyberattack and that something went wrong that was unplanned for.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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