Cyber Attack (Photo by Askhat on stock.adobe.com)

A cyber-attack targeting KP Snacks, one of the UK’s largest crisp and nut manufacturers, could lead to shortages of Britain’s favourite bites including KP Nuts, McCoy’s crisps, Popchips, NikNaks, and Hula Hoops among others. It warned that supply shortages loomed following a ransomware attack on the company.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the German-owned British organisation said:

“On Friday 28 January we became aware that we were unfortunate victims of a ransomware incident. As soon as we became aware of the incident, we enacted our cybersecurity response plan and engaged a leading forensic information technology firm and legal counsel to assist us in our investigation.”

Attackers threatened KP Snacks with the release of stolen information from the company’s IT systems, forcing the favourite snack brand into making a payment for the information so it could continue its day-to-day operations.

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned that even if firms pay up “there is no guarantee that you will get access to your computer or your files”.

KP Snacks said it had continued to assess the situation and apologised for any disruption.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that threatens to publish a victim's data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. There are two types, usually delivered through a phishing attack. The first type encrypts the files on a computer or network. The second type locks a user’s screen. Both types require users to make a payment – the ‘ransom’ – to be able to use the computer normally again.

However, there’s no guarantee that the key or password, to ‘unlock’ the computer, will be provided once the ransom has been paid. You should assume that making a payment is a fruitless exercise and plan your business continuity on that basis.

Staying protected against an attack

One small window of opportunity is all an attacker needs. At The PC Support Group, we can manage your software and security to make sure that it’s always up-to-date and protecting your business as it should be. If you’d like a chat about your approach to cybersecurity and how we can help, call us on 03300 886116 or email info@pcsupportgroup.com.