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Dole Says Employee Information Compromised in Ransomware Attack

Dole has admitted in an SEC filing that its investigation into the recent ransomware attack found that the hackers had accessed employee information.

Produce giant Dole admitted in a document submitted on Wednesday to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the recent ransomware attack resulted in unauthorized access to employee information. 

The Ireland-based company said in February that it was forced to shut down some plants due to the cyberattack, but still claimed that impact on its operations was limited. On the other hand, some stores blamed product shortages on problems caused by the incident.

In its latest SEC filing, Dole reiterated that the “sophisticated ransomware attack” had limited impact on its operations.

“Upon detecting the attack, we promptly took steps to contain the attack, retained the services of leading third-party cybersecurity experts and notified law enforcement,” the company said. 

It was reported after the attack came to light that Dole had rushed to shut down systems to prevent the spread of the ransomware, which suggested that file-encrypting malware was involved. 

Dole has not said how many employees are impacted, but its Wikipedia page says the company employs 38,000 people. 

In an earlier SEC filing, the company said the incident was particularly disruptive for its Chilean and fresh vegetables businesses. 

The company said in a conference call earlier this month that it does not expect to recover losses caused by the ransomware attack through cyberinsurance or supplier recovery.

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It’s unclear which ransomware group was behind the attack. SecurityWeek has checked the leak sites of several major operations and found no mention of Dole at the time of writing. 

The cybercrime group that conducted the attack may not have a leak website, but it’s also possible that Dole decided to pay the ransom demanded by the hackers. 

Related: Ferrari Says Ransomware Attack Exposed Customer Data

Related: Ransomware Will Likely Target OT Systems in EU Transport Sector: ENISA

Related: Ransomware Gang Publishes Data Allegedly Stolen From Maritime Firm Royal Dirkzwager

Related: Ransomware Attacks: Don’t Let Your Guard Down

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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