Computer Security

Cyberattack Disrupts Ace Hardware: Impact on Customers and Stores

Cyberattack Disrupts Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware, an American retailers' cooperative, experienced disruption in its operations due to a cyberattack on October 29th. According to a notice shared by the company's President and CEO, John Venhuizen, the attack crippled most of the key IT systems affecting various integral aspects of the business.

Impact on Ace Hardware’s Operating Systems

Among the systems affected by the cyberattack include ACENET, the company's Warehouse Management Systems, the Ace Retailer Mobile Assistant (ARMA), Hot Sheets, Invoices, Ace Rewards, and the phone system of the Care Center. All these systems were reportedly either interrupted or suspended following the attack.

Disruption on Shipments and Online Orders

Due to the cyberattack, Ace Hardware experienced severe disruptions in their shipments, leading to delay in deliveries. The company was forced to suspend online orders, recommending customers to avoid placing further orders until the situation is resolved.

Attempts to Restore Impacted Systems

In the wake of the attack, the hardware company embarked on the process of restoring the impacted systems. However, the company disclosed that it could not estimate the time it would take to fully restore its operations. As of November 3, online orders remained suspended with customers being advised to visit the company's brick-and-mortar stores.

Phishing Attempts Following the Cyberattack

In the follow-up of the incident, some customers have reportedly been targeted with phishing attempts, both via email and by phone. It was revealed that the attackers compromised over a thousand of the company's internal servers and network devices.

Company’s Statement on the Attack

Ace Hardware has yet not specified the type of cyberattack it suffered or whether any customer information might have been compromised. The company said that the attack had no known impact on in-store POS systems and credit card processing. As of the time of writing, Ace Hardware has not made a public comment on the attack.

Progress in Restoring Affected Systems

Following the disruptive cyberattack, Ace Hardware has been actively working on restoring the affected systems. The company formed a specialized team comprising technical forensic experts who are dedicatedly addressing the crisis. CEO John Venhuizen assured customers of the company's commitment and efforts towards fully restoring operational capacities.

No Estimated Timeline for the Operation

Despite the active efforts being made to restore the impacted systems, the hardware retail firm did not give an estimate on the duration of the operation. This indicates the complexity and severity of the cyberattack that caused substantial disruptions to the company's essential IT operations.

Online Store Functional for Product Views but Not Orders

While working on the restoration of its systems, Ace Hardware managed to keep the online store open for product views. However, the ability to place orders online was still disabled. This move was essentially a mitigation strategy to provide alternative options for customers while ensuring the crisis didn't escalate further.

Status of Online Orders as of November 3rd

As of November 3rd, Ace Hardware's online orders remained suspended. Customers visiting the web store were informed that orders could not be processed. The firm advised customers to turn to its brick-and-mortar stores for their purchasing needs after this cyber incident.

Impact on Customers and Stores

As a direct result of the cyberattack on Ace Hardware's systems, customers were adversely impacted. The company had to urge its customers not to place new orders due to possible shipment delays caused by the attack.

Attackers Compromised Internal Servers and Network Devices

The attackers in the cyberattack incident managed to compromise over a thousand internal servers and network devices of Ace Hardware. While the full extent of the damage caused by this breach is still under investigation, it is evident that the attack led to significant interruptions in the retailer's operations.

Phishing Attempts Targeted Some Customers

In the aftermath of the cyberattack, some Ace Hardware customers were reportedly targeted with phishing attempts. The attackers used both email and phone methods for these attempts, adding another layer of concern for the retailer and its customers.

No Impact on In-Store POS Systems and Credit Card Processing

Despite the significant disruptions caused by the cyberattack, Ace Hardware reported that their in-store POS systems and credit card processing were not impacted. This suggests that while the attack extensively affected the company's online operations and internal systems, the direct customer interface at physical store locations continued to function without known issues.

Additional Information and Responses

In the wake of the disruptive cyberattack on Ace Hardware's systems, the company is yet to share specific details regarding the nature of the attack and whether any customer data could potentially be compromised.

No Mention of the Incident on Major Ransomware Leak Sites

Interestingly, despite the magnitude of the attack, there have been no mentions of the incident on major ransomware leak sites. This provides no additional public information on the possible party or parties responsible for the cyberattack or on the method employed to compromise the company's systems.

No Official Statement from Ace Hardware on the Attack Yet

Ace Hardware is yet to make an official statement regarding the cyber attack. This leaves stakeholders including customers, retailers, and investors eager for information regarding the measures being taken to resolve the situation, and the future implications of the incident on the company's operations.

Ace Hardware’s Global Presence

Ace Hardware operates an extensive network of more than 5,600 locally owned and operated hardware stores spread across approximately 70 countries. This vast reach underlines the scale at which the company has been affected by the cybersecurity incident and the potential number of customers that may be impacted.

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