Ready-meal retailer Wiltshire Farm Foods has been hit by a cyberattack that has prevented deliveries to customers.
The attack was so severe that the company was unable to even call customers to tell them about the outage, or even that their delivery would not take place.
Wiltshire Farm Foods is owned by Apetito, which specializes in providing packaged meals to hospitals, nursing homes, nurseries and other similar settings.
The elderly and frail – who take advantage of the company’s free home delivery service and relatively simple meal preparation – make up a significant portion of Wiltshire’s clientele.
The company announced on Monday that it was the target of a cyber attack, which led to serious problems with its computer systems. The company could not see what customers had ordered or their addresses and had to temporarily stop deliveries.
“We are very sorry to say that Wiltshire Farm Foods is currently experiencing serious problems with our computer systems. These problems were caused by a so-called ‘cyber attack,’ the company said:†
Wiltshire is “convinced” that the hackers were not able to access payment card information because it does not store that data on its systems.
Customers expecting delivery this week have been asked to contact their local depot as Wiltshire cannot see that information.
The company expects to be unable to complete a “significant” number of deliveries in the coming days as its computer systems are still down. It doesn’t even have access to phone numbers to contact customers.
Wiltshire said it is doing everything it can to recover from the crisis.
“Where we can take orders, we will only offer deliveries from Monday 4th July, by which time we hope to be operational again.”
Parent company Apetito also said it had fallen victim to a “highly sophisticated” cyber attack that compromised its “extensive IT security systems”.
“Our Crisis Management and IT teams (assisted by specialized external partners) are working hourly to get critical systems back up and running as quickly as possible,” the report said. [pdf]†
Attacks of this type are becoming more common in both the private and public sectors as hackers try to extort money from victims.
The two companies are the latest in a list of high-profile victims in recent months.
Last week, a cyber attack on Yodel caused delays in package delivery and disrupted online order tracking; and in February, KP Snacks was the target of a ransomware attack.
Last year, Brazil-based meat processing giant JBS was hit by an attack targeting the company’s servers that support its North American and Australian IT systems.