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14 Apr, 2021 11:07

Cheesy hack: Ransomware attack on Dutch logistics company leaves supermarket shelves empty

Cheesy hack: Ransomware attack on Dutch logistics company leaves supermarket shelves empty

A large-scale ransomware attack on a major Dutch logistics company has caused a disruption in the country’s supply chain, sparking shortages of packaged cheese, as well as other goods.

The company, Bakker Logistiek, which provides air-conditioned warehousing and transportation services, came under hacking attack early last week. The company works with multiple retailers, including the Netherlands’ largest supermarket chain, Albert Heijn.

Due to the company’s heavy reliance on computerization, the attack effectively brought its logistics to an abrupt stop, with Bakker Logistiek unable to ship goods to customers – and even locate the goods at warehouses.

“We could no longer receive orders from customers,” Bakker director Toon Verhoeven told local broadcaster NOS.

And in our warehouses we no longer knew where products were. These are very large warehouses, you don’t just go looking for a pallet. We also couldn’t plan our transports anymore. We have hundreds of trucks, which was not done by hand either.

The effect of the attack kicked in a few days after, with supplies running out at multiple stores. Albert Heijn acknowledged the issue, posting a warning on its website about the lack of cheese at its outlets. The Netherlands is among the top 10 cheese-consuming countries in the world.

“Due to a technical malfunction, there is limited availability on the prepackaged cheese. The logistics service provider works hard to solve the problem as quickly as possible and to quickly restore availability. We apologize for the inconvenience,” the chain stated.

Bakker Logistiek managed to bring their systems back under control over the weekend, according to Verhoeven. The director did not reveal which ransomware was used for the attack, saying the hackers likely used a vulnerability in the Microsoft Exchange Server.

“We’re still figuring this out, so it’s speculation, but I do think so,” Verhoeven said.

Ransomware usually encrypts the files of an affected system, locking the user out and demanding they pay up. The ransom is often demanded to be paid in cryptocurrencies to make it more difficult to trace back to the hackers. Verhoeven did not reveal whether the company paid the ransom or not to regain access to its logistics systems.

Also on rt.com FBI receives ‘search warrant’ to INFILTRATE & FIX hundreds of systems affected by ‘Chinese hack’ of Microsoft Exchange servers

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