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Cannabis retailers are attractive cybercrime targets: Report

Cyber cannabis

Cannabis retailers are particularly attractive targets for cyber criminals because their clientele is vulnerable to extortion, says a report issued Monday.

While cybercrimes “are commonly used to target retailers, cannabis dispensaries are especially vulnerable because they deal in a commodity whose use remains contentious despite marijuana’s legalization in the states where it is sold,” says the Growing Cyber Threats Against Cannabis Retailers report issued by Kroll LLC, a division of Duff & Phelps LLC.

“Cybercriminals that gain access to a marijuana dispensary’s client database could attempt to extort high-profile customers, like politicians, business executives, professional athletes, entertainers, celebrities, etc., who may not want the public to know they are using marijuana, even if its legal,” says the report, which was written by Matthew Dunn, Kroll’s Nashville, Tennessee-based associate managing director of cyber risk, who is a retired FBI special agent.

The report said another concern for marijuana retailers is their “higher-than-average potential” to become targets of nation-state actors.

“The marijuana industry’s controversial commodity places it at higher risk for intelligence-gathering and potential co-opting/recruitment activities,” according to the report, which recommends cyber retailers build a strong cyber security strategy.


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