The Kroger Company is the United States’ largest supermarket by revenue and the second-largest general retailer.
Kroger operates almost 2,750 supermarkets in 35 states. Kroger employs approximately 500,000 people and had over $122 billion in sales for 2019.
The company has confirmed that it was impacted by the data security incident affecting Accellion, Inc. Accellion’s services were used by Kroger, as well as many other companies, for third-party secure file transfers.
An Insight into the Incident
Kroger customers and associates were affected by the Accellion data security incident. Accellion notified Kroger that an unauthorized person gained access to certain Kroger files by exploiting a vulnerability in Accellion’s file-transfer service.
The incident did not affect Kroger’s IT systems or any grocery store systems or data. No credit or debit card (including digital wallet) information or customer account passwords were affected by this incident.
Kroger discontinued the use of Accellion’s services after the incident’s effect on January 23, 2021. The company reported the incident to federal law enforcement and initiated its forensic investigation to review the potential scope and impact of the incident.
Information may have been Involved
Based on the information provided by Accellion and investigation, Kroger believes the categories of affected data may include certain associates’ HR data, certain pharmacy records, and certain money services records.
What Actions is Kroger taking to respond to this Incident?
Kroger has no indication of fraud or misuse of personal information as a result of this incident. However, Kroger is directly notifying potentially impacted customers and associates through mail notices and offering free comprehensive credit monitoring to those individuals out of an abundance of caution.
Accellion Attacks have an Extensive Impact
Accellion has more than 3,000 customers worldwide. It is said that the affected product was 20 years old and nearing the end of its life. The company said on Feb. 1 that it had patched all known FTA vulnerabilities.
In mid-December, Accellion disclosed that they learned of an actively exploited zero-day vulnerability in their FTA secure file-transfer service. Threat actors exploited this vulnerability to steal data from companies who utilized the service to communicate with customers and partners securely.
Other Accellion customers affected by the hack include the University of Colorado, Washington State’s auditor, Australia’s financial regulator, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and the prominent U.S. law firm Jones Day.