Spar branches had to close after the attack on the supply chain | IT-PRO


Spar convenience stores across the UK either had to resort to cash payments or shut down entirely after a cyber attack.

More than 300 stores across the north of England are affected when point-of-sale devices are taken offline, meaning the stores cannot accept card payments.

It is believed that the attack first hit James Hall & Company, a Lancashire-based wholesaler serving Spar UK stores, on Sunday. The website is currently unreachable with an error 20 indicating a network error.

The full scope of the attack is currently unclear, but the company said the attack affected all of its IT systems, including employee email.

The National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) is currently investigating the attack and said, “We are aware of an issue affecting Spar stores and are working with partners to fully understand the incident.”

A Spar spokesman added: “We are working to resolve this situation as soon as possible. It is currently affecting the ability of stores to process card payments, which means that a number of savings stores are currently closed to shoppers or only accept cash payments.

“We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused our customers and are working to resolve the situation as soon as possible.”

The type of attack is also currently unclear. Ransomware Or not, the attack shows how quickly cybercriminals can target a wide range of targets by: a. can infect Supply chain.

“At first glance, it looks like an attack on the supply chain,” says Brian Higgins, security specialist at Comparitech. “It is very difficult to ensure that every link in the chain has appropriate cybersecurity measures in place, and it only takes one vulnerable point to let criminals into a network. Once in, the repercussions can be catastrophic.

“The timing could also indicate a planned attack as most retailers don’t have full back office service on weekends,” he added. “I’m sure there will be a full investigation, but it can often be counterproductive to speculate about motives, etc., while an incident is ongoing.”

It’s not the first time a European supermarket has been involved in a supply chain attack this year. The Swedish Coop branches were all hit by the ransomware REvil in July this year, as a result of Kaseya violation.

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