Fresh produce giant Dole Food Company has confirmed that threat actors behind a ransomware attack in February accessed information from an undisclosed number of employees.

Dole employs approximately 38,000 people worldwide, supplying fresh fruits and vegetables to customers in more than 75 countries.

The company revealed that last month’s cyberattack had a direct impact on its employees’ information in the annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday.

“In February 2023, we fell victim to a sophisticated ransomware attack involving unauthorized access to employee information,” Dole said. said in the file.

“After detecting the attack, we quickly took action to contain the attack, retained the services of third-party cybersecurity experts, and notified law enforcement.”

Alms leaked ransomware attack on February 22 and said it had had a limited impact on its operations.

The attack came to light after customers complained of delays and shortages of Dole products on store shelves for more than a week.

A memo sent to US stores and leaked online by Texan Stewart’s grocery store said Dole would implement a crisis management protocol that would include what was described as the “Manual Backup Program.”

Dole memo sent to US grocery stores
Dole memo sent to US grocery stores (by Stewart)

This likely meant the company would revert to manual operations, which would have helped resume production and shipments, albeit at a much slower pace.

“All of our businesses are implementing our crisis management protocol to resume ‘business as usual’ after the rush, including our manual backup program if necessary. Please bear with us as we navigate our way and I hope that we will minimize this event,” Dole said.

Although the company said the ransomware attack had limited impact, it was forced at the time to shut down production plants in North America.

“Dole Food Company is in the midst of a cyberattack, and [we] subsequently shut down our systems across North America. Our factories are closed for the day and all shipments are on hold,” the memo reads.


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