Retail giant recovers from hacking ordeal

One of Europe’s largest retailers, Angling Direct, spent almost a week dealing with a serious computer hack which disrupted its servers, affected orders and brought down its website.

The cybersecurity attack on November 5th redirected online customers to a site containing adult material, compromised some of its social media accounts and locked staff out of their servers.

However, a week on from incident and a statement from the company revealed it had regained control of its websites and social media channels, reassuring everyone that its 39 retail outlets across the UK continued to trade.

A statement from the company said: “We sincerely apologise to anyone who attempted to access our website while the incident was ongoing and was instead directed towards inappropriate content. We believe this was a malicious attack deliberately designed to disrupt and cause offense.

“These actions are a reflection of the criminals that committed this crime, not the values or the service we expect to share with our customers and partners.

“As soon as we became aware of the incident, we appointed external cybersecurity specialists whose investigations are underway to establish exactly how the incident occurred. Work on this continues around the clock. At the same time we have also removed any threat from our systems and ensured they were safe to interact with.

“We are now confident we have eradicated the threat from our systems. As has always been the case, payments made on our website and / or in our stores, as well as the card details associated with those payments, are secure.”

Angling Direct also said that, as a precaution, it had notified the relevant regulators and law enforcement agencies, including the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK.

When the story first broke, TTW was contacted directly by several customers concerned about their orders and their personal data and they were given advice on who to get in touch with at the company.

The statement added: “Angling Direct takes the security of its systems extremely seriously and as a result we were able to respond quickly to this incident.

“Investigations are continuing by our independent cyber security specialists to determine whether this incident has had an impact on any personal data and we will inform any individuals impacted in line with our regulatory obligations should there be a need to do so.

“Unfortunately, this kind of cyber incident has become a common issue for businesses to deal with.

“We don’t hold any of our customers financial or credit card information as we provide secure transactions through a third party.

We continue to monitor our online environment very closely and we have implemented additional reinforcements to our suite of security measures.”