Washington pot-tracking system, already dogged with problems, was hacked, state says

The state’s new pot-tracking system was hacked final weekend, and an “intruder” stole route info related with 4 days of marijuana deliveries, in addition to different info.

“It was a breach of the system and indications show they downloaded a copy of the traceability database,” stated Brian Smith, a spokesman for the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). “It did something in the system — I’m not at liberty to talk about — that affected the transfer and manifest data — that was, in part, responsible for the issues this week.”

The state on Feb. 1 transitioned to a brand new marijuana-traceability system, Leaf Data Systems, which has been dogged by issues since its launch. The know-how points have stored marijuana growers and sellers scrambling to maintain their companies operating. Some have frightened about maintaining marijuana on more and more sparse retailer cabinets.

Problems related with the hack have been found Saturday by MJ Freeway, the corporate offering the info service and pot-tracking software program. On Monday, the corporate recognized the issue as a “possible security incident” and notified the LCB, based on a message that went out to all marijuana licensees Thursday. At that time, the LCB contacted the Washington State Office of CyberSecurity, which is investigating the hack. Smith stated marijuana companies weren’t notified of the assault till Thursday due to that company’s protocol.

The safety flaw was resolved on Monday, Smith stated. The state company plans to proceed utilizing MJ Freeway as a vendor.

“No online presence is 100 percent safe,” he stated. “There are steps that MJ Freeway has taken to ensure that it’s secure and meets modern standards. … We’re sticking with MJ Freeway.”

In addition to transportation manifests, delivery-vehicle info like sort, license-plate quantity and VIN quantity have been additionally taken. That info is accessible by means of public-record requests, Smith stated.

MJ Freeway has had merchandise hacked a number of occasions earlier than, a nd supply code for a few of its software program was posted on-line final yr, in line with Marijuana Business Daily, an business publication.

Pot proprietors Thursday questioned the LCB’s choice of MJ Freeway, contemplating its earlier breaches.

“It’s been a pretty well-known fear: MJ Freeway was not Fort Knox. Boy, was everybody right straight out of the gate,” stated Steve Lee, who owns two marijuana companies and is a Kennewick metropolis councilman.

Marijuana-traceability techniques have been designed, partially, to assist regulators fulfill Obama-era federal tips about marijuana diversion. If pot might be tracked, the idea went, then federal officers would have extra assurances it wasn’t crossing state strains or going into the black market.

Lee stated the hack has eroded the traceability system’s integrity, and may have him sleeping much less straightforward about federal involvement within the state’s authorized marijuana market.

“It’s a catastrophic failure at the state level, and it leaves us all worrying about our futures,” he stated.

What the hacker(s) have been after shouldn’t be instantly clear, however pot proprietors apprehensive that knowledge could possibly be manipulated.

“If somebody can get in and read the data, they can also write (code) to it. They can disrupt the entire industry. That opens up corporate blackmail,” stated Logan Bowers, co-owner of Seattle pot store Hashtag. Bowers labored in software program for about 20 years earlier than opening his retailer.

Even with the hack difficulty resolved, pot proprietors stated the business is just not operating at full velocity due to myriad different tech points in the course of the state’s transition to Leaf Data Systems.

Bowers stated his retailer was solely capable of get three of six scheduled shipments Thursday, and a lot of the distributors he buys from will not be capable of ship marijuana but.

Jeremy Moberg, a marijuana grower in Okanogan County, stated the state ought to return to the contingency system it had been utilizing for a number of months throughout a niche in service from traceability distributors.

The state was imagined to transition to a brand new knowledge system final November, however that was delayed after the corporate initially chosen for contract negotiation by the LCB withdrew from consideration.

For the final three months, pot companies have been submitting hundreds of spreadsheet information every week to the LCB with their traceability knowledge, a cumbersome, guide course of.



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