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Computer problems | IGA tries to calm things down, a media confirms the ransomware trail



After being locked in silence following a computer problem, IGA is trying to calm things down by ensuring that its stores are “fully operational”. But according to a media specializing in cybersecurity, the food chain is indeed the victim of a ransomware attack.

According to the Bleeping Computer site, it was the Black Basta gang that hit Empire, which operates IGA supermarkets. His reporter posted a photo online from a company employee. It shows a screen displaying a ransom note and a link to the ransomware site.

The Press was unable to confirm that the photo posted is indeed that of an Empire employee’s computer.

No explanation from the company

For its part, the company has still not commented on the thesis of the computer attack by ransomware which has been circulating for several days. However, the Commission d’accès à l’information confirmed by e-mail to The Press have received a privacy incident report from the company.

Since September 22, under Bill 25, companies have the obligation to notify the Commission “in the event of a confidentiality incident involving personal information”. “A confidentiality incident can therefore occur in particular when a staff member consults personal information without authorization, [lorsqu’un] a staff member communicates personal information to the wrong recipient or [dans des cas où] the organization is the victim of a cyberattack: phishing, ransomware,” wrote Emmanuelle Giraud, communications adviser to the Commission.

According to The Canadian Press, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta was also notified of the incident by the company.

“The fact that Empire has reported privacy breaches in two provinces means the data has been exfiltrated,” said Brett Callow, cyberthreat expert at antivirus firm Emsisoft. If so, the question is whether the company intends to pay a ransom, or if the data will eventually leak online. »

Empire wants to be reassuring

Meanwhile, Empire, a company that notably manages the IGA, Rachelle-Béry, Les Marchés Tradition and Marché Bonichoix brands, wants to be reassuring after having remained silent for days, despite incessant requests from the media.

“We are pleased to inform our customers that all of our stores are fully operational,” company spokesperson Anne-Hélène Lavoie said in an official statement emailed to The Press. We receive products, deliver them to our stores to replenish shelves and serve our customers. Despite some challenges still to be resolved, our network is working very well. »

“Our company is working tirelessly to resolve the issues we are experiencing with our IT systems. »

However, it was impossible to have more details on the volumes of deliveries and receptions managed by the company. Computer problems that occurred a week ago at Empire are causing supply problems in stores, where customers have to deal with the absence of certain products. The situation has also caused headaches for some suppliers. Their products are piling up in company warehouses instead of landing in freezers or on shelves. They also struggle to get paid. The company even asked some of them to deliver their products directly to supermarkets, if they had the capacity. not accessible

Customers who are used to shopping on the site must find other options since the service has been suspended. However, consumers living in regions where the Voilà par IGA service is offered can continue to shop online.

In-store notices indicated that some prices had been “manually updated”. Thus, at the checkouts, employees must, in some cases, adjust the prices themselves. Online, the brand also warns consumers that “certain prices displayed” on its site may be “inaccurate or erroneous”. “Please see our flyer for exact promotional prices,” it says.

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