Sobeys Employees Detail Chaos at Stores Following Ransomware Attack: Report

Employees of the Empire-owned Sobeys stores have revealed that following a ransomware attack earlier this month, they have not been able to place orders and process inventory as usual, CBC News is reporting.

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Workers at the grocery chain said that as a result, some of the stores have run short of items, while at some stores, food that had gone bad initially either piled up or was frozen because it couldn’t be removed from the inventory system.

The staff also noted that the pharmacies have been unable to fill new prescriptions for a week, customers cannot redeem loyalty points or use gift carts, and now they fear they might not get paid because the payroll system is down.

Earlier this month, Empire announced that an “information technology systems issue” was disrupting some services, including filling prescriptions at pharmacies.

While it did note in a statement on Nov. 11 that its pharmacies were once again fully operational, it said that the stores were still experiencing challenges.

“It’s basically been a mess.… The word that can best describe it — just a mess,” said one employee who works in the front end at a Safeway in western Canada.

“Somebody higher up got an email and basically clicked a link they weren’t supposed to,” said the front-end Safeway employee. “I don’t know the exact dollar figure, but I know it was like millions, like several millions.”

The company owns 1,500 stores across Canada, including Sobeys, Lawtons, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, Needs, and other grocery outlets.