Ace Hardware Cyber Attack Disrupts Operations and Cripples IT Systems

Written by Gabby Lee

December 22, 2023

Ace Hardware Cyber Attack Disrupts Operations and Cripples IT Systems

Ace Hardware, the American hardware retailers’ cooperative, has experienced significant disruptions to its operations following a cyber attack in 2023.

Ace Hardware Cyber Attack 2023 – What Happened?

The Ace Hardware cyber attack occurred on October 29, affected the organization’s key IT systems, including ACENET, Warehouse Management Systems, Ace Retailer Mobile Assistant (ARMA), Hot Sheets, Invoices, Ace Rewards, and the Care Center’s phone system.

Shipments were disrupted, resulting in delays, prompting Ace Hardware to advise customers against placing further orders.Although Ace has made progress in restoring the impacted systems, online orders remain suspended as of November 3.

Visitors to Ace’s web store are informed that orders cannot be processed and are encouraged to visit physical stores instead. The company clarified that the incident did not impact in-store point-of-sale systems or credit card processing.

Details of the Ace Hardware cyber attack reveal that the attackers compromised over a thousand internal servers and network devices and targeted some customers with phishing attempts via email and phone. However, the company has not provided specific details about the nature of the cyber attack or any potential compromise of customer information.

It’s important to note that there have been no mentions of the incident on major ransomware leak sites. Ace Hardware operates over 5,600 locally owned and operated hardware stores across approximately 70 countries.  

The Ace Hardware cyber attack 2023 is a reminder that it’s essential to have proactive measures in place combined with a well-prepared response plan to reduce the impact of ransomware attacks.

Enterprise Ransomware Prevention – Tips

Enterprise Ransomware Prevention

Here are some tips to enhance ransomware protection for small businesses as well as enterprises to prevent cyber extortion:

Regular Backups: Ensure regular and automated backups of critical data. Store backups offline or in a separate network to prevent ransomware from encrypting them.

Employee Training: Educate employees about phishing emails and social engineering tactics. Conduct regular training sessions to raise awareness and promote a security-conscious culture.

Ransomware and Cyber Extortion Response and Prevention: Invest in robust antivirus and anti-malware solutions. Keep them updated to defend against evolving ransomware threats. Consider endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions for advanced threat detection to counter ransomware and cyber extortion.

Patch Management: Keep operating systems and software up-to-date with the latest security patches. Regularly update and patch vulnerabilities to minimize the risk of exploitation.

Network Segmentation: Implement network segmentation to contain the spread of ransomware. Isolate critical systems and sensitive data to minimize the impact of a potential breach.

Access Control: Enforce the principle of least privilege. Limit user access rights to only what is necessary for their roles. Regularly review and revoke unnecessary privileges.

Email Security: Deploy email filtering solutions to detect and block phishing emails. Use advanced threat protection to identify and quarantine malicious attachments or links.

Incident Response Plan: Develop and regularly test an incident response plan for ransomware attacks. Ensure that employees know their roles and responsibilities in the event of a security incident.

Monitoring and Detection: Implement continuous monitoring of network activities and user behavior. Utilize intrusion detection systems to quickly identify and respond to anomalous activities.

Collaborate with Cybersecurity Experts: Stay informed about the latest ransomware trends and collaborate with cybersecurity experts. Share threat intelligence and learn from industry best practices.

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