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Hackers Target Marijuana Shops with Attacks Against Critical Software

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Hackers managed to disrupt the activity of marijuana shops after launching attacks against the software that’s being used for sales and inventory.

Boston Globe reports that several shops and medical dispensaries informed customers that sales and appointments could take longer than usual because a number of tasks had to be performed manually after hackers managed to take down the software solution provided by MJ Freeway.

The automated system was used for tracking sales and inventories, but also to create the necessary reports for state regulators, the source points out.

While it’s not yet clear who managed to take down the system, as no hacking group has claimed the attacks so far, it appears that no data was stolen, with MJ Freeway reps claiming that all they did was to corrupt the data and make in unstable.

No hackers claiming the breach

No ransom was requested, the spokespersons were quoted as saying, but an investigation was started anyway and law enforcement has already been contacted to help determine who was behind the attack.

“It was a cyber-attack, and it was targeted at us specifically,” Jeannette Ward, MJ Freeway’s executive director of data and marketing, was quoted as saying. “We are going full-force with a forensic investigation, and we’ll turn over the results to criminal investigators as needed.”

Companies whose sales were affected by the breach confirmed the problems they experienced with the central system and explained in notifications posted on their websites that the typical activities take longer than usual because everything needs to be performed manually.

“We are still experiencing a service outage of our sales tracking software, MJ Freeway. The state's virtual gateway remains functional. For Wednesday 1/11, we will be open at both locations for normal business hours. However, as we will need to conduct certain sales functions manually, your visit may take longer than usual. As such, if your schedule allows, we recommended delaying your visit to NETA until this issue has been resolved,” one marijuana shop explained.

MJ Freeway was working with clients to switch to an alternative system while data is recovered, adding that backups were already available, only that it takes a while until they are fully restored.


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