Spar cyberattack hits more than 300 convenience stores

Spar cyberattack hits more than 300 convenience stores

It has been reported that Spar, a leading UK convenience store, has experienced a cyberattack which hit more than 300 convenience stores across the north of England. Some stores have been forced to close their doors. Shops are not taking card payments, with those remaining open taking cash only. The National Cyber Security Centre and Lancashire Police are investigating the attack targeting James Hall & Company in Preston, Lancashire, which operates Spar’s tills and IT systems.

An NCSC spokesperson has said: ‘We are aware of an issue affecting Spar stores and are working with partners to fully understand the incident’.

Matt Aldridge, Principal Solutions Consultant, Carbonite + Webroot, said: “This incident highlights one of a growing number of retail organisations affected by extortion attacks on their critical systems. It’s becoming increasingly challenging for IT admins and security teams to put any single process or technology in place to protect against threats. Retail, particularly, is one of the industries most vulnerable to ransomware and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Even a few hours of disruption to systems can cause inconvenience to customers and lead to millions of pounds of losses.

“To mitigate future attacks, organisations must step up and implement robust security systems, processes and staff training, as it is vital for protection. One layer of protection is not enough to sufficiently reduce your organisation’s exposure to risk. It is crucial to build multiple layers of protection, detection and response into your infrastructure. Besides, having multi-layered cyber defences and tight processes will help protect the business, services and systems and help to uncover weaknesses before criminals exploit them.”

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