Computer hackers have struck a British snack company, essentially putting KP Snacks out of business possibly till the end of March.
A letter from KP Snacks, aka Kenyon Produce, sent to store owners on Feb. 2, and first reported by British medium BetterRetailing, said its systems had been “compromised by ransomware” beginning Jan. 28 and the company “cannot safely process orders or dispatch goods.”
The hack affected KP's IT and communications systems. A subsequent letter sent by independent grocer supplier Nisa said, “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.”
Website BleepingComputer said the culprit was the Conti ransomware group. BleepingComputer's research found Conti threatening to release credit card statements, birth certificates, spreadsheets with employee addresses and phone numbers, confidential agreements, and other sensitive documents.
None of the media reports we saw indicated how much of a ransom was demanded.
KP Snacks makes such popular brands in Britain as PopChips, Skips, Hula Hoops, Penn State pretzels, McCoy's and Wheat Crunchies. KP is owned by German's Intersnack.
"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," said a KP statement. "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.”