Major fresh produce supplier Dole temporarily closed some of its production facilities earlier this month due to a cyber attack that caused the company to stop supplying food to supermarkets. The incident, caused by ransomware, according to a company statement, resulted in some stores in Texas and New Mexico being unable to stock Dole salad kits for days.
Despite efforts by the company to “contain the threat” with the help of outside cybersecurity experts, CNN reports that it remains unclear how long production has been kept offline. Dole has assured its customers that it is cooperating with law enforcement.
The cyberattack on Dole comes at a time when cybercrime is on the rise and the US government has been working on a solution to this problem. After his election, US President Joe Biden initially called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to crack down on Russian cybercrime groups. Hopes for cooperation faded after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
The incident at Dole is a reminder of the vulnerability of critical infrastructure, such as the food supply chain, to cyber-attacks. The company is just one of many targets of ransomware attacks in recent years. That’s why cybersecurity experts continue to urge businesses and organizations to take steps to protect themselves against cyber threats.