In April 2021, the Dole Food Company, renowned for their large-scale production of fresh and packaged fruit, experienced a ransomware attack. This attack meant that the private data of their customers and employees were compromised. Here, we take an in-depth look at the attack, its origin, and the implications it had for the business.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is malicious software that is designed to encrypt the files of a computer system, preventing the user from accessing them, until a ransom fee is paid. Cyber criminals often demand large sums of money to decrypt the encrypted files, making this type of attack an extortionate one.
What Happened to Dole Food Company?
On the 17th April 2021, Dole Food Company released a statement publically declaring they had been the victim of a ransomware attack. The attack was launched by a cybercriminal collective, known as DoppelPaymer, who had installed malicious software locking down the computer systems and demanding ransoms be paid in exchange for the release of the data.
The Food Company had to take their systems offline in order to limit the spread of the ransomware and to protect the customers’ and employees’ data. However, there were some indications that the data had been exfiltrated and was now in the hands of the attackers.
What Measures is Dole Taking?
To minimise the impact of the attack, Dole Food Company has appointed a third-party cybersecurity specialist to help manage the incident. They have also frozen all transactions while they investigate the issue and upgrade their systems to prevent further attacks. Furthermore, they have also implemented a new process that requires all staff to use two-factor authentication when accessing the systems.
Are There Long-Term Implications?
The full impact of the Dole Food Company ransomware attack will not be known for some time. However, the attack does involve the compromise of personal data which raises serious concerns for individuals whose information has been exposed. The company has alerted customers, whose data may have been compromised, to be aware of potential fraudulent activity on their accounts.
In addition, the company may be exposed to legal action related to the breach due to the mismanagement of the data.
Share the Knowledge
The importance of cybersecurity is clear to see. Companies need to be aware of the potential risks posed by cyber criminals and be proactive in protecting their data. We must also be aware of our own personal data security and take measures to protect it.
Share this article on social media to help spread the importance of data security and to also inform people of the dangers of ransomware.