[ISN] Hackers' product recall message 'sabotage' - Aria Farm
isn at c4i.org
Wed Oct 20 02:42:15 EDT 2004
20 October 2004
A Waikato food company, Aria Farm, faces potential ruin following
industrial sabotage, says director Erik Arndt.
Computer hackers have emailed 3000 of the company's customers, saying
a company product . lamb chips . are being recalled due to an
infectious agent, and the warning has since been posted on internet
Mr Arndt said the full product recall was emailed to his customers at
the weekend as coming from his own company's computers, and had the
potential to destroy a business.
The hacker also announced free chips were available at a Takapuna
coffee bar, but they tasted awful.
The first Mr Arndt and wife Anna knew about the fake recall notice was
on Monday morning through replies to the email message.
"We got in touch with supermarkets straight away and let them know it
was all a hoax," he said. Mr Arndt also reported the incident to
police, who have said they are investigating.
Aria Farm employs 14 people at its Hamilton factory and has an annual
turnover of $3 million.
The company was formed in 1997 after Mr and Mrs Arndt, who became
frustrated by low returned from their 526ha dry stock farm at Aria in
the King Country.
They now produce beef, lamb and chicken chips; lamb strips with basil
and mint; and easy-flow mince.
Last year they launched some of the products in Britain through
supermarket chain Sainsburys. Their UK company was reported to have
invested $NZ3 million in a processing plant in Blaenavon, near
Pontypool in Wales, where it also received a grant of over $NZ1
million from the Welsh Development Agency towards establishment costs
and for marketing.
In New Zealand, the company has also received a Government "enterprise
award" to help it develop export markets in Australia and South
Mr Arndt said computer hacking was not something a small family
business in Hamilton would expect.
"We're busy going for export licences. We were busy focusing on food
safety. . . We weren't focused at all on anything like a computer
"Here's someone using their creative energy to do nasty things like
Mr Arndt said the company spent $7000 upgrading its computer firewall
security four months ago. "I'm just trying to get to the bottom of
this to see how it happened."
He said only two people . he and his wife . knew the password to the
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