While a number of websites and mailing lists have fallen victim to attacks intent on stealing personal information or just proving that the hack was possible, whoever managed to penetrate the security of the Hershey’s Chocolate website had a much more insidious goal: changing recipes.
The Hershey’s folks sent out the below e-mail alerting customers of the hack, though there is no mention of which recipe was altered or how drastically it may have been changed. The company says it has no indication that user data was breached during the hack, but does provide some pertinent information for anyone whose info was stored on the victimized server.
Dear Hershey Consumer,
At Hershey, we are committed to open communications with our consumers and other stakeholders. As a result, we want to take a moment to inform you about a recent incident and the steps we took to correct it.
We recently discovered that an unauthorized individual accessed one of our websites and altered one of our baking recipes. As you know, Hershey’s recipes are built on our legacy of offering the highest-quality products for more than 100 years. Consumers rely on us for this information, and we take the quality of our baking and cooking recipes very seriously. We have corrected the issue and taken steps to enhance the security of this information. We have thoroughly investigated the situation and reviewed the recipes on this site to ensure their quality. All indications are that this incident involved only the site where we manage consumer baking and cooking recipes.
No financial information was stored on the same server as our recipes, and Hershey’s online stores operate on a different system. However, the server did contain consumer website registration information, including email addresses, birthdates and street addresses as well as passwords used to enter some of our sites.
We have no indication that any of this consumer information was compromised; however, given the nature of this incident, we are acting out of an abundance of caution and informing you that this server was accessed. We are also outlining some steps to help you ensure your security whenever you use the Internet and email.
If you used the same password on a Hershey website that you use for your email or other sensitive accounts, please consider changing those passwords as a precaution. For your security, we ask you to be especially aware of email scams that ask for personal or sensitive information.
Remember, The Hershey Company never asks you to supply or verify sensitive personal or financial information via email; only provide this type of information through a secure website. If you receive a request for this type of information, you can be confident that The Hershey Company is not the organization making the request.
The following guidelines are offered by our information security experts to help protect yourself online:
- Vary your passwords by site
- Use strong passwords
- Change your passwords frequently
- Use caution when opening email links or attachments from unknown senders
We appreciate your loyalty to The Hershey Company and regret any inconvenience this may have caused. We take this matter very seriously and have enhanced our security measures to ensure the quality of our recipes.
If you have any questions or need further assistance, please call us at 1-800-468-1714 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Time.
Thanks to RandomHookup for the tip!