Ransomattack May Cripple British Snacks Maker for Months

The U.K's second-largest snack manufacturer may be out of commission for a while.

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As first reported by British news outlet betterRetailing, ransomware against a suburban London-based supplier of snack foods could reportedly keep the company crippled for at least several months.

On Feb. 2, KP Snacks issued a letter to its store owner customers saying that a cyberattack was discovered on Jan. 28 after it investigated an IT and communications outage. The Slough, England-based company said that, "As a result, at this stage we cannot safely process orders or dispatch goods. We have teams working through the resolution, but it is unknown when this will be resolved."

betterRetailing said that a subsequent letter to grocery supplier Nisa noted that no orders would be placed or delivered for at least several weeks and that service could be affected "until the end of March at the earliest."

The news outlet added that Nisa informed partner stores Feb. 1 to "expect supply issues on base stock and promotions until further notice," and that it was utilizing ordering caps to manage current inventory.

KP Snacks distributes snack foods under brands that include Butterkist, Hula Hoops, KP Nuts, McCoy's, Nik Naks, Pom-Bears, Space Raiders and Tyrrells.

Technology news outlet Bleeping Computer reports that the ransomware group has been identified as Conti, though it wasn't known how much of a ransom the group is demanding. Information compromised by the hack reportedly includes credit card statements, birth certificates, employee addresses and phone numbers, confidential agreements and other sensitive documents.

Founded in 1853, KP Snacks brands itself as the UK’s second-largest snack manufacturer, with seven manufacturing sites around the country. The company has over 2,000 employees reportedly has over $600 million in annual revenue.

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