Chicago-based Ferrera Candy Company is recovering from a ransomware attack, the company reported on last week.
A ransomware attack on the company that owns the ubiquitous-yet-polarizing Brach's Candy Corn in the weeks before Halloween is undoubtedly one heck of a coincidence (or perhaps a fiendish plot by a Halloween-loving hacker who saw their time to shine?) Luckily for fans of candy corn (and to the ire of its haters, no doubt), Ferrera has reported that plenty of Brach's branded candy, as well as the company's other products such as Nerds and SweeTarts, is on the market already to negate the production disruption.
Ferrera staff became aware of the intrusion on October 9 and promptly hired a third party to restore their systems. The company's Wednesday announcement was likely timed to avoid alerting hackers. According to the company, production has resumed at "some" of its factories, with others remaining offline. Ferrera hasn't disclosed the exact amount of production capacity currently tied up by ransomware.
While there are certainly more than a few jokes to be made about the U.S.' premier candy corn maker being hacked with Halloween around the corner, ransomware continues to raise concerns as companies from mom-and-pop to multinational conglomerates suffer network breaches and production interruptions.
The broader effects of what ransomware is capable of are best demonstrated by the Colonial Pipeline hack. Using an old password to gain remote access to the company's networks, hackers deployed ransomware throughout the company's billing systems, prompting a halt to gas transfers through the pipeline to avoid compromising other critical systems. The disruption of gas supplies, which lasted for days, caused shortages throughout the country.
The case of Ferrara's hacking is a short, somewhat humorously timed tale, but one that alludes to a much more concerning problem facing many businesses today. Even without knowing the full scale of Ferrara's hack, the company still working to bring production back up to total capacity two weeks after speaks volumes about the effects of ransomware on firms. At least with the country's candy corn supplies secured, we can return to the lighthearted debate of why it's so polarizing.