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Business Notes: Malicious Virus Hits Dead River Co. Computers

Woodstock — A malicious piece of software discovered earlier this month on some of Dead River Co.’s computers may have affected credit and debit cards of a small number of customers who did business with the oil and propane company during two days in early March, the company said in a news release last week.

After discovering the virus on March 6, Dead River, which is based in Maine but has offices in West Lebanon, Woodstock, New London, North Haverhill, and throughout New England, immediately began an investigation and retained the services of outside computer-forensic experts to “help identify, isolate and eradicate the malware as well as prevent a recurrence,” the release said, noting that the investigation continues.

“We believe there is a very small number of customers whose information may have been compromised as a result of the malware,” the release said.

The affected customers did business with the company between March 6 and March 8 and provided a credit or debit card for payment over the telephone or in person, provided information for an electronic fund transfer for payment or applied for charge approval privileges. The transactions required a customer service representative to type information into a web browser. Transactions before March 6 and after March 8 were not affected, the company said.

Dead River Co. is notifying customers who may have been affected by the malware in writing and will offer the affected customers one year of credit monitoring service, as well as additional information on how to protect against identity theft and fraud. No sensitive customer information, such as dates of birth, Social Security numbers, etc., is stored on Dead River Co. servers, the company said.

Company News

A cheese produced by Vermont Farmstead Cheese Co. of South Woodstock has been awarded second place at the 2013 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in Green Bay, Wis., the first major national cheese competition of 2013.

The company’s BrickHaus Tilsit, an adaptation of a Danish Havarti cheese, received a 98.65 rating out of 100, placing it second in its category. The contest drew 1,702 entries from cheesemakers across the country. Vermont Farmstead has earned 33 industry awards in its first two years of operation. The company began as a community effort to save a local farm and its surrounding acreage.

Red River, a Claremont company that provides federal information technology services has been awarded a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Commodities Enterprise Contract, a five-year contract vehicle with a ceiling of $5.3 billion.

The VA contract is a set-aside for small businesses, and Red River was one of three companies receiving the awards.

Red River is now an approved VA contract holder can is eligible to provide the agency with information technology hardware and incidental products and services.

Allen Pools & Spas , a Rutland-based hot tub retailer with a stores in White River Junction and Williston, Vt., recently received a 2012 Territory Dealer of the Year Award from Watkins Manufacturing Corp., makers of Hot Spring Spas.

The company was honored at a Hot Spring dealer event held recently in Washington, D.C.

Items of interest to the local business community are published every Sunday. Submissions may be mailed to: Business Notes, c/o Sunday Valley News, P.O. Box 877, White River Junction, Vt. 05001. You may also send your items by fax to 603-298-0212, or by e-mail to biznotes@vnews.com. All items are subject to editing for clarity or space.