A cyberattack forced produce giant Dole to shut down production plants in North America and halt food shipments to grocery stores, according to a company memo about the incident.
The previously unreported hack — which a source familiar with the incident said was ransomware — led some grocery shoppers to complain on Facebook in recent days that store shelves were missing Dole-made foods.
“Dole Food Company is in the midst of a Cyber Attack and have subsequently shut down our systems throughout North America,” Emanuel Lazopoulos, senior vice president at Dole’s Fresh Vegetables division, said in a memo to retailers.
Dole has four processing plants in the US and employs more than 3,000 people, according to a recent company press release.
“The company has notified law enforcement about the incident and are cooperating with their investigation,” Dole’s statement said in part. “While continuing to investigate the scope of the incident.”
In its statement, Dole said it “moved quickly to contain the threat” after learning of the incident, and “engaged leading third-party cybersecurity experts, who have been working in partnership with Dole’s internal teams to remediate the issue and secure systems.”