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Dole, a major agricultural supplier, temporarily closed some of its production plants earlier this month after a cyberattack halted the shipment of food to grocery stores. The incident, caused by ransomware, prevented some stores in Texas and New Mexico from stocking Dole’s salad his kit for several days, the company said in a statement.
Despite the company’s efforts to “contain the threat” with the help of third-party cybersecurity experts, CNN reports that it remains unclear how long production was kept offline. Dole assures 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 U.S. government has been working to address the issue. 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 Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.
The Dole incident is a reminder that critical infrastructure such as the food supply chain is vulnerable to cyberattacks. The company is just one of many companies targeted by ransomware attacks in recent years. As such, cybersecurity experts continue to urge businesses and organizations to take steps to protect themselves from cyberthreats.