Ransomware group targets country’s largest candy corn manufacturer

October 20, 2021, 3:29 PM UTC

The national debate over candy corn that rises like a zombie every year around this time has attracted the interest of the hacker world.

Chicago’s Ferrara Candy Co., the industry’s largest manufacturer of the controversial sweet, says it was the victim of a ransomware attack earlier this month, which disrupted production. However, the company says, that won’t lead to a candy shortage this Halloween.

Beyond making Brach’s Candy Corn, Ferrara is also the manufacturer of noncontroversial brands like SweeTarts, Laffy Taffy, and Nerds. (Actually, forget that…It managed to make Nerds controversial this year with the introduction of Nerds Candy Corn.) It also makes cookies from Keebler and Famous Amos.

Halloween products are shipped to retailers in early August, though, so this disruption won’t leave trick or treaters upset.

Ferrara, which is owned by the world’s third-largest chocolate confectioner Ferrero, says the disruption was discovered on Oct. 9. The company is working with law enforcement officials and has restored its systems. It tells the Chicago Tribune it is now nearly back to full capacity.

Candy corn may be a subject of debate among sugar enthusiasts, but the sweet yet waxy treat is still a bestseller in many states. A recent survey by the National Confectioners Association found it to be the third most popular candy people stocked up on as Halloween approached.

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