Ace Hardware struggles to restore systems after ‘malicious’ cyberattack

Home improvement retail giant Ace Hardware is struggling to recover multiple online supported business operations nearly a week after its IT systems were hit by a ‘malicious’ cyberattack.

“We are currently unable to process orders online. Need it now? Visit your local Ace store,” a banner splashed across the company’s customer facing website reads.

Describing the attack as a “fast-moving, dynamic situation” with details “changing rapidly,” Ace CEO and President John Venhuizen sent an email to its more than 5,800 retailers on Monday to explain the systemwide outage.

“On Sunday morning, we detected a cybersecurity incident that is impacting the majority of our IT systems,” the email states.

“As a result of this incident, many of our key operating systems, including ACENET, our Warehouse Management Systems, the Ace Retailer Mobile Assistant (ARMA), Hot Sheets, Invoices, Ace Rewards, and the Care Center’s phone system have been interrupted or suspended,” it said.

“Nothing is more important than restoring all operations as soon as humanly possible,” said Venhuizen, who labeled the circumstances "a battle of good versus evil.”

Ace Hardware cyberattack website banner

The Illinois-headquartered company explained that 1,202 devices – including 196 servers – were hit during the attack and needed to undergo restoration.

The attack caused all systems to be suspended, including those used to receive customer orders – as well as all customer shipments, which were canceled for October 30th and 31st.

“Scheduled deliveries are adversely impacted, and retailers are requested to refrain from placing additional orders for now, as these cannot be processed,” the note said.

The company urged stores to stay open for its customers as Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, credit card processing, and Ace Hardware bankcard programs were not impacted by the attack, in an update to retailers later that day.

“Your Ace team, along with the support of a group of technical forensic experts, is working feverishly to resolve this situation,” the CEO said in the email.

Ace Hardware cyberattack update

Ace Hardware is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world, with over 5,800 locally owned and operated hardware stores in approximately 60 countries, according to a company press release from August., which reported global sales topping $22 billion.

No cybercriminal group has stepped forward to claim the attack so far.

Cybernews has reached out to Ace and is awaiting a response.

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