Stolen Halloween?: Major US Candymaker Falls Victim to Hacker Attack That Affected Production
© AP Photo / David ZalubowskiA display of Halloween pumpkins sits on the front porch of a home Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Garretson, S.D.
© AP Photo / David Zalubowski
The company is responsible for making Everlasting Gobstoppers, Lemonheads, Now and Later, Nerds, SweeTarts, Laffy Taffy, Red Hots, Pixy Stix, Atomic Fireballs, Boston Baked Beans, and other popular candy brands. They also produce Famous Amos cookies and Keebler snacks.
Ferrara, the American candy company behind some of the country's most popular confections, was targeted by a ransomware attack that encrypted its computers, affecting the production line, The Hill reported, citing an email statement by the company.
According to the report, Ferrara has only been able to restart production "in select manufacturing facilities," but that it is shipping "near to capacity" from "all our distribution centers across the country."
"We are working to process all orders in our queue," the company reportedly added.
The hackers encrypted the company's computer system and demanded money, according to Ferrara, which discovered the hack on October 9.
“Upon discovery, we immediately responded to secure all systems and commence an investigation into the nature and scope of this incident," the company explained. “Ferrara is cooperating with law enforcement and our technical team is working closely with third-party specialists to fully restore impacted systems as expeditiously and as safely as possible.”
Ferrara added that they wanted to reassure consumers "that Ferrara's Halloween products are on shelves at retailers across the country ahead of the holiday."
Ransomware attacks have become more common in recent years, and US officials reportedly expect this trend to continue.
Last week, the US Treasury Department released a report which indicated that in the first half of 2021, victims of ransomware attacks paid $590 million to their attackers.