A cyber attack crippled a major marijuana POS system, sparking an outage that has stymied point-of-sales and inventory systems for dispensaries in 23 states.
MJ Freeway said on Monday that restoring full service may take up to three weeks. In the meantime, nearly 1,000 retailers will be forced to track sales and inventories without the assistance of software.
There are reports that a some retailers have been forced to shut down, since the software is the point-of-sales system. Other retailers have been tracking sales the old-fashioned way — with pen and paper.
“We don’t know yet exactly who or what the motivation was (for the attack),” said Jeannette Ward, director of data and marketing for MJ Freeway. She said the company “will definitely pursue a criminal investigation.”
The Denver-based company is working around the clock to resolve the situation, but stressed that there is no danger of customer data being corrupted by the hack.
“The attack was aimed at corrupting, not extracting, data,” Ward said. “What that means is all client-patient data is still protected, still safe, still encrypted and was not viewed by the attackers.”
Jessica Billingsley, founder of the MJ Freeway, wrote on the company’s Facebook page:
MJ Freeway teams have been working overnight on recovery procedures. The process is progressing, but it is manual and thus very time consuming.
Access to an alternative site will be available for you today. We will update you with further information via email. Thank you for your patience and again, our sincere apologies for the inconvenience.
The company has been fielding a high volume of phone calls from clients and is using social media sites to keep customers up tp date on developments.
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“We have spoken to many clients directly. We’ve got our support lines open,” Ward told Marijuana Business Daily, who first broke the story. “We’ve also reached out to (some larger) clients proactively. We’re sending emails to all clients every couple of hours to update them.”