Dole Food Company, one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of fresh fruits and vegetables, has announced that it is dealing with a ransomware attack that affected its operations.
There are few details at the moment and the company is investigating “the scope of the incident”, noting that the impact is limited.
The company employs about 38,000 people and has annual revenues of $6.5 billion. In a statement on his website, Dole says that he has already engaged with outside experts who help with remediation and security of affected systems.
Police authorities have also been informed of the incident.
Although Dole characterized the impact as “limited,” a memo leaked on Facebook by a Texas grocery store indicates that the food giant was forced to close its North American production plants.
It appears that Dole also stopped their shipments to grocery stores.
“Dole Food Company is in the middle of a cyberattack and [we] We have subsequently shut down our systems throughout North America,” the memo reads.
“Our plants are closed for the day and all shipments are on hold,” the company said in the notice to its partners.
Consumers have complained about a shortage of prepackaged Dole salad on store shelves for more than a week. Although the company did not disclose when the attack occurred, it is likely that the shortage was caused by this ransomware attack.
The memo sent to the stores mentions that Dole will implement its crisis management protocol which includes the “Manual Backup Program”. This means the company could go back to manual operations, which should resume production and shipments, albeit at a slower pace.
BleepingComputer reached out to Dole for more details about the hack, but the company declined to provide comment outside of the public statement.