Dole Operations Shut Down by Cyberattack

Feb. 23, 2023
Company says ransomware incident’s impact was minimal, but some grocers are reporting product shortages.

Dole Plc on Feb. 22 briefly acknowledged a “cybersecurity incident that has been identified as ransomware” and added “the impact to Dole operations has been limited.”

But various media were reporting the incident occurred earlier this month, apparently lasted several days and impacted Dole operations in more than a limited way. CBS affiliates and CNN reported shortages of Dole prepackaged salads in local groceries, and cited a Feb. 10 memo to retailers that said:

"Dole Food Company is in the midst of a cyberattack and have subsequently shut down our systems throughout North America," Emanuel Lazopoulos, senior vice president at Dole's Fresh Vegetables division, said in the memo.

Dole has four processing plants in the U.S. and employs more than 3,000 people. It’s uncertain how long production was shut down.

In its official statement on its website, the company said, “Upon learning of this incident, Dole moved quickly to contain the threat 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. The company has notified law enforcement about the incident and are cooperating with their investigation.”

This is the first cyberattack we're aware of since Maple Leaf Foods reported one back in November of last year.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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