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Westview Co-op among those affected by cyber attack on Federated

Westview Co-op's card locks have been affected and shut down, except for the one in Linden
A note about some service disruption at the Olds Westview Co-op food store on July 3. MVP Staff

OLDS — The cyber attack that hit Federated Co-operatives Limited, the central supplier for co-ops in western Canada has affected Westview Co-op as well.

Federated Co-operatives Limited confirmed on Thursday, June 27 through social media that an attack had occurred. Westview Co-op -- which has locations in Carstairs, Eagle Hill, Olds, Sundre, Linden, Horseshoe Canyon, Drumheller, Hanna, Consort and Didsbury also added the conformation to its social media in the days following.

Westview Co-op board president Harvey Walsh told the Albertan he learned of the attack late Wednesday, June 26. He stressed that the attack hit Federated Co-operatives Limited, not Westview directly.

“Federated Co-operatives Limited, which supplies Westview Co-op, is experiencing a cyber-security incident that is impacting some guest-facing systems at local retail co-ops,” the Westview Co-op Facebook page says.

“Due to this incident, we are currently facing disruptions in ordering grocery products from the FCL warehouse, which is causing delays and shortages in our food stores.

As a result, the co-op said it was cancelling the Tuesday, July 2 Scratch and Save event.

“Thank you to our co-op members and guests for your patience.”

Walsh said FCL supplies Westview with probably 80 to 90 per cent of its products.

Westview Co-op general manager Mike Isaak they’re still getting products, but “as a retail (it’s just) a continued focus on making sure we get product and where we can and where we can source it from.”

“We are still getting some product, from our warehouse and our fuel,” he said.

Isaak said Westview’s cardlocks have been affected and shut down, except for the one in Linden.

“We're working through a process to get them back up and operating,” he said.

Isaak said despite the cyber hit, Westview is still delivering fuel to its customers.

“We feel like all of our fuel stations are up and running and we're still getting fuel. We're still treating them like we would normally,” he said.

“We're basically looking at our operations of what we could do to make sure we keep them up and operating,” said during an interview. “So those are the things that we're looking at today and working with FCL on it.”

Isaak said FCL is giving Westview “operational updates.”

“It's not easy,” he said. “But we're working through it.”

Federated Co-operatives Limited issued an update on the afternoon of July 3.

"We are making significant progress in restoring some operations. The cybersecurity incident has slowed down certain aspects of our business, but we are prioritizing key grocery items and consumer goods for delivery to local Co-ops. We are working to recover from the incident, but ask for your patience as we continue to build our way back to regular operations," the update said.

"Co-op cardlock fuel locations were widely impacted by the cybersecurity incident, but our teams continue to get more cardlocks pumping fuel every day. A main priority is to get all cardlock locations back online as soon as possible. We want to reinforce that fuel supply to co-op retail gas bars has been relatively unaffected and customers can fill up at all Co-op retail locations," the update concluded.

Isaak said Westview hasn’t had to lay any employees off as a result of the attack.

He said Westview is just going day-to-day, working with FCL to get through the problem.

Walsh said in addition to the other items, FCL also provides a lot of the Co-op’s information technology (IT).

“It's being investigated,” Walsh said. “We don't have the full information yet. It's undergoing a third-party investigation to see what exactly transpired.”

In an earlier update, Federated Co-operatives Limited said "in response to questions regarding your data, we have no evidence at this time that consumer data was compromised. If the investigation determines that consumer data was compromised, we will take appropriate action."

Meanwhile, Central Alberta Co-op which has numerous locations including in Innisfail, Red Deer and Sylvan Lake, had similar messages to Westview Co-op on its social media pages from Federated Co-operatives Limited about the cyber attack. A call to Central Alberta Co-op requesting comment had not been returned as of press time.

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