With minimal communication and snippets that outline the attack, the reaction of the Canadian group Empire, owner of several stores, including Sobeys pharmacies, is classic when faced with a cyber incident.
During the week of November 7, 2022, disruptions were reported in the group’s pharmacies, which were unable to process certain prescriptions. Then on November 10, 2022, the Quebec Access to Information Commission and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of the Province of Alberta reported that they had received reports of data breaches from Sobeys.
On November 14, 2022, Empire confirmed that some of its pharmacies were experiencing technical difficulties in filling prescriptions but did not indicate a link (although it was clear) to the “privacy incident” reported by Sobeys.
“The company’s grocery stores remain open to meet customer needs and are not experiencing significant disruptions at this time. However, some in-store services are operating intermittently or experiencing delays“, the company said in a statement.
Everything leads us to believe that Sobeys was the victim of a data theft or a ransomware, and that its head office, anxious to reassure its customers, refuses to acknowledge it publicly.