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Why Cannabis Buyers Are Uniquely Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

July 11, 2019 / BRUCE KENNEDY

Experts in the field of cyber security say North America’s emerging cannabis industry—and its customers—could be especially vulnerable to hacks and extortion. Cities like Baltimore, as well as the state of Georgia’s court system, and Lake City, Florida, have been the recent targets of sophisticated ransom ware infections, with attackers demanding payment to stop their disruption of crucial municipal data systems. Officials in Lake City, facing the potential loss of the entire city’s information systems, paid a $460,000 ransom. Baltimore refused to pay a $75,000 ransom and is now dealing with an $18 million cleanup job. Cyber security experts say the legal cannabis sector offers a tempting target for online criminals. “Any type of new business or new industry is definitely going to be vulnerable,” says Matthew Dunn, associate managing director of the cyber risk practice at Kroll, a corporate investigations and risk consulting firm based in New Y...