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Hackers Alter Recipe On Hershey’s Website

August 5, 2011

Pennsylvania-based candy giant Hershey’s, the largest chocolate manufacturer in the United States, was recently the victim of a cyberattack, officials revealed Thursday in an email sent to customers.

The email stated that they had “recently discovered that an unauthorized individual accessed one of our websites and altered one of our baking recipes.”

“We have corrected the issue and taken steps to enhance the security of this information,” they added. “We have thoroughly investigated the situation and reviewed the recipes on this site to ensure their quality. All indications are that this incident involved only the site where we manage consumer baking and cooking recipes.”

The server contained no financial information, but did include information belonging to consumers who registered on the website, including email addresses, birthdates, street addresses and passwords, Hershey officials said.

“We have no indication that any of this consumer information was compromised; however, given the nature of this incident, we are acting out of an abundance of caution and informing you that this server was accessed,” the email statement noted, advising consumers to change their passwords, and to be careful when dealing with spam emails.

According the Huffington Post, only one recipe was altered, though the recipe in question and the manner in which it was changed were not disclosed. The Post suggested that the activity could have been corporate sabotage, a prank, or the act of “Martha Stewart diehards who, as a 70th birthday present to the Patron Saint of Robin’s Egg Blue, decided to replace the Hershey’s chocolate chip cookie recipe with one from Martha Stewart Living.”

Interestingly enough, the Telegraph reported on Thursday, that it had recently been revealed “that British intelligence agencies had conducted their own recipe-based hacking operation. They replaced the pages of an Al Qaeda propaganda magazine with garbled excerpts of a baking recipe in what was dubbed ‘Operation Cupcake’.”

“As you know, Hershey’s recipes are built on our legacy of offering the highest-quality products for more than 100 years. Consumers rely on us for this information, and we take the quality of our baking and cooking recipes very seriously,” company officials said in their emailed statement. “We”¦ regret any inconvenience this may have caused. We take this matter very seriously and have enhanced our security measures to ensure the quality of our recipes.”

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