Hanesbrands Reports Ransomware Attack
Hanesbrands Inc., the apparel manufacturer and wholesale supplier based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, recently disclosed that it was hit with a ransomware attack at the end of May.
In a Security and Exchange Commission regulatory filing Tuesday, the company said the attack began on May 24 and that its "forensic investigation and assessment of the impact of this event is ongoing."
"The company has notified appropriate law enforcement authorities and is cooperating with the investigation," Hanesbrands said in the filing, according to SGB Media. "Legal counsel, a cybersecurity forensic firm and other incident response professionals have been engaged."
Hanesbrands also told the SEC that it was in the "early stages of its investigation" and is unsure if the attack had impacted its business or operations. It is unclear if the attack affected employee or customer information.
Kirk Saville, a spokesperson for Hanesbrands, said the company had no additional comment at this time.
Ransomware and other malware attacks are a growing concern for companies in all industries, including promo. In 2019, alphabroder reported a malware attack on its order processing and shipping systems that forced a brief service outage. In 2018, three large suppliers—Hit Promotional Products, Hub and High Caliber—all fell victim to the same malware.
Those companies recovered, but it doesn't always go that way. In late 2018, Colorado Timberline, a supplier based in Denver, abruptly announced that it was shutting down due to a ransomware attack. The company never reopened.
Many industry companies have responded by hardening their IT systems and taking preventative measures to safeguard customer data. Pat Barry, executive vice president of sales at Boundless, one of the industry's largest distributors, told Promo Marketing last year that promo customers are increasingly asking for data security assurances from their promo providers, as well.
"At Boundless, we have seen an increase in the level of scrutiny to which our clients are holding us accountable, and this scrutiny will only gain momentum over the next few years," Barry wrote. "In response, we continue to invest in platform security, hiring third parties to continuously test our firewall and achieving the necessary certifications to protect our customers and business. This is now a cornerstone of achieving new and existing customer trust."
We will update this post with additional information on the Hanesbrands attack if it becomes available.