Food and beverage distributor Ben E. Keith announced Monday that it had experienced a cybersecurity threat and had disabled service to restaurants that rely on it as a supplier.
According to a press release, Ben E. Keith said that it detected “unusual activity in our network” and disabled its “business systems to minimize risk for our business and our customers.”
“We understand that our customers, employees, and business partners have been impacted by the outage and continue to work around the clock to fully restore our systems and operations,” the statement reads. “Our employees, customers and their customers are our top priority, and we are committed to getting back to business as usual as soon as possible.”
One of the biggest restaurants affected by the service outage is the San Antonio-based Raising Cane’s, a fast food restaurant famous for its chicken.
In a statement, the restaurant apologized for any service disruptions, reported WFAA.
“We are working hard to get the products we need as quickly as possible, so we can continue serving our San Antonio Caniacs the chicken finger meals they are craving! We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused for our customers,” said the statement.
Greek restaurant CAVA was also affected, according to WFAA.
“The situation has had a temporary impact on our restaurants in San Antonio and we are out of some menu items in certain locations. We expect a quick resolution and our team members are doing exceptional work to manage the shortages, recommend substitute items for guests’ favorite bowls and pitas, and continue to give our guests a great experience,” read a statement from CAVA, according to WFAA.
The increasing use of technology in the food and agriculture industry makes the food supply chain an easy target for cyber attacks, according to Just Food.
In June 2021, a ransomware attack on JBS USA, the world’s largest meat supplier, which processes about 20% of America’s meat supply, led to production halts, reported Cybersecurity Dive. The company wound up paying $11 million in ransom.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller told The Dallas Express in a statement that cyber attacks targeting food suppliers go hand in hand.
“That’s one reason I banned TikTok from the TDA when I took office in 2015. It’s also the reason I support legislation so America’s enemies cannot own farmland in Texas,” Miller said. “Food safety at our border, given our enormous trade with Mexico, must be a top priority. Cyberattacks are the evil twin of attacks on our food system.”
Miller said it’s part of his job to maintain food security, and cyber security is part of that.
“It is the new reality we live in, and we must meet the challenge,” he said.
I have a nephew who is a “White Hat Hacker” and works to ensure cybersecurity.
He and his crew once hacked into the Canadian Power grid.