Kroger is latest victim of third-party software data breach

BOSTON (AP) — Kroger Co. says it was among the multiple victims of a data breach involving a third-party
vendor’s file-transfer service and is notifying potentially impacted customers, offering them free
credit monitoring.
The Cincinnati-based grocery and pharmacy chain said in a statement Friday that it believes less than 1%
of its customers were affected — specifically some using its Health and Money Services — as well as some
current and former employees because a number of personnel records were apparently viewed.
Kroger said the breach did not affect Kroger stores’ IT systems or grocery store systems or data and
there was no indication that fraud involving accessed personal data had occurred.
The company, which has 2,750 grocery retail stores and 2,200 pharmacies nationwide, did not immediately
respond to questions including how many customers might have been affected.
Kroger said it was among victims of the December hack of a file-transfer product called FTA developed by
Accellion, a California-based company, and that it was notified of the incident on Jan. 23, when it
discontinued use of Accellion’s services. Companies use the file-transfer product to share large amounts
of data and hefty email attachments.
Accellion has more than 3,000 customers worldwide. It has 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
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.
For Washington State’s auditor, the hack was particuarly serious. Exposed were files on 1.6 million
claims obtained in its investigation of massive unemployment fraud last year.
In the case of Jones Day, cybercriminals seeking to extort the law firm dumped an estimated 85 gigabytes
of data online they claimed to have stolen.
Former President Donald Trump is among Jones Day clients but the criminals told The Associated Press via
email that none of the data was related to him.