Posted on July 17, 2022 at 7:24 PM
Supermarket chain Spinneys has become the latest victim of a cyberattack after threat actors caused a delay in the opening of its stores in the UAE. Reports revealed that the hackers successfully gained access to some parts of the Spinneys network and affected some parts of the store operations for a short period.
However, the general manager of Spinneys Dubai, Tom Harvey, said “The issue has been dealt with swiftly.” He added that customer data was intact since it was contained securely in a different system that was not impacted.
He also thanked the store’s customers for their patience during the trying period. Harvey apologized on behalf of the company to several persons that were inconvenienced while shopping at the company’s stores during the attack.
Attack Increases As More Organizations Adopt Hybrid Work Models
The risk of attack increases when organizations adopt more hybrid and digital approaches to managing their businesses. Several businesses are going through major digital transformations to become more efficient in their operations.
At the same time, the threat actors are getting more opportunities to attack these businesses. Once a business connects online or goes digital, it exposes itself to all forms of attacks online. They are now more exposed to cyber threats than ever before. More businesses have digitalized their operations following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result, organizations have been advised to beef up their security to avoid becoming a victim of cyber threats or hacking exploits. There is now also an increase in budget allocation towards the prevention of potential security breaches. More companies are getting the message that they need to do more to secure customers’ data.
Boston-based security firm Cybereason carried out an annual ransomware study which shows an increase in Cybersecurity budgets for several companies in the UAE.
The report revealed that over 85% of UAE businesses surveyed stated that they have increased their security budgets over the past year to combat ransomware. This is still lower than the global level of 92%.
More Companies Are At Risk Of Cyber Attack
A report from New York-based research company Cybersecurity Ventures revealed that threat actors are likely going to target a consumer, device, or business every two seconds by 2031. The report also revealed that damages from ransomware attacks cost the world almost $20 billion last year. This is 57 times higher than in 2015 when the cost was revealed to be about $325 million.
With the increasing level of attacks, security firm has predicted that ransomware cost could go as high as $265 billion by 2031.
Shortly after the attack, some customers in the UAE complained on Twitter about the challenges they were having and the closure of the Spinney stores. They noted that several Spinneys stored were closed because of “system errors” or “technical issues” on Sunday morning. Another customer complained that the Spinneys app wasn’t working and no product was showing at the time. However, the company has fixed the issues and all operations have returned to normal.
Another Supermarket Chain Recently Suffered Ransomware Attack
The recent attack on Spinneys is an example of the increasing interest of hackers in supermarket chains. Last month, another supermarket chain Wegmans was attacked and breached.
The attack exposed the data of more than 3 million customers of the New York-based store nationwide. Following the attack, the company decided to beef up its security system to prevent further attacks in the future.
Wegmans was accused of its failure to protect customers’ data. The supermarket chain was accused of placing customers’ data in cloud storage, which was hosted on Azure. This gave the threat actors access to the customers’ information because they have been misconfigured.
The report revealed that customers’ email addresses and their passwords were exposed for 39 months before the activity of the hackers was discovered. It also stated that the names of customers and their mailing addresses and data linked to their driver’s licenses were exposed for 30 months.
The incident occurred from 2018 to 2021. Wegmans started informing customers shortly after discovering the breach in June last year. The breach affected more than 800,000 news customers.
At the time, Wegmans apologized for the breach and reiterated its desire to protect the data of customers in its possession. The company stated that it takes the safety and security of customers’ data very seriously and there is no evidence that their data have been exposed or leaked.