UPDATE: KP Snacks ‘compromised’ by ransomware cyberattack and ‘cannot safely process orders’

Stores face more disruption to crisp supply as KP Snacks puts a ban on orders due to cyberattack

KP Snacks has been hit by a cyberattack causing delays and cancelations to deliveries that could last “until the end of March at the earliest”.

A letter from KP Snacks sent to store owners on 2 February said its systems had been “compromised by ransomware” and it “cannot safely process orders or dispatch goods”.

KP Snacks revealed the hack wiped out its IT and communications systems begining on 28 January. “We have teams working through the resolution, but it is unknown when this will be resolved,” the letter read.

Messages sent by Nisa to partnered stores on 1 February, and seen by Better Retailing told local shops to “expect supply issues on base stock and promotions until further notice”.

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The hack means supply of top selling brands including McCoy’s, Hula Hoops, Tyrrells, Space Raiders, Skips, Butterkist, Pom-Bears, Nik Naks and KP Nuts is at risk.

The wholesaler added: “Initial discussions have highlighted that no orders will be being placed or delivered for a couple of weeks at least and service could be affected until the end of March at the earliest.”

Nisa said it was introducing ordering caps in order to “manage what stock we do have”.

Files seen by cybersecurity site Bleeping Computer showed KP Snacks listed on hacker group Conti’s confidential ‘data leak page’. The site alleged that examples of KP Snacks related “credit card statements, birth certificates, spreadsheets with employee addresses and phone numbers, confidential agreements, and other sensitive documents” were shown on the data leak page.

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Asked about the incident, a KP Snacks spokesperson responded: “On Friday, 28 January we became aware that we were unfortunately 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. Our internal IT teams continue to work with third-party experts to assess the situation.  We have been continuing to keep our colleagues, customers, and suppliers informed of any developments and apologise for any disruption this may have caused.”

The latest disruption to the crisps and snacks category follows IT issues at rivals Walkers in October, resulting in gaps on shelves that lasted through to the end of December. At the time KP Snacks said it had “maximised” production in order to help maintain sales.

In December, Spar wholesaler and store operator James Hall was also hit by severe IT issues after a cyberattack impacted more than 600 independent and centrally owned Spar stores across the north of England, forcing many to close.

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