IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

UK retailer The Works suffers ransomware attack leading to store closures

An employee falling victim to a malicious phishing email facilitated the attack but customer payment data has not been compromised

UK high street retail store The Works has confirmed a cyber attack on its systems, forcing some stores to close, with sources close to the matter saying systems are hit with ransomware.

The ransomware attack was facilitated by an employee falling victim to a phishing email, according to sources familiar with the situation. The company is working to fully understand the extent of the attack but can confirm that no customer payment data has been compromised.

The Works has called in unnamed outside cyber security experts to conduct digital forensics on the incident and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has been informed in case other data belonging to customers has been stolen.

The specific ransomware group behind the attack, the ransomware used, or the exact ransom demand, has not yet been confirmed but sources said The Works is not going to currently speculate about the potential for paying the ransom.

The retailer said customers are still safe to shop in-store and online since its credit and debit payments are processed by an outside third party - “there is no risk that this payment data has been accessed improperly,” it said.

Related Resource

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Whitepaper cover with over-layered graphics of laptop, folder, file and skull/malware imagesFree Download

The Works has disabled all internal and external access to its systems and staff emails until the investigation into the situation is complete.

It also said “to protect customers and the business, the company has made some immediate protective changes to further strengthen its security position” but did not elaborate on what these changes entail.

“There has been some limited disruption to trading and business operations, including the closure of some stores due to till issues,” it said. Replenishment deliveries to the Group's stores were suspended temporarily and the normal delivery window for the fulfilment of online orders was extended, but store deliveries are expected to resume imminently and the normal online service levels are progressively being reintroduced.

“The Company does not currently anticipate that this incident will have a material adverse impact on its forecasts or financial position.”

The Works currently operates more than 520 stores nationwide and is a popular store for gifts, crafts, toys, books, and stationary.

Featured Resources

Accelerating AI modernisation with data infrastructure

Generate business value from your AI initiatives

Free Download

Recommendations for managing AI risks

Integrate your external AI tool findings into your broader security programs

Free Download

Modernise your legacy databases in the cloud

An introduction to cloud databases

Free Download

Powering through to innovation

IT agility drive digital transformation

Free Download

Recommended

Darktrace AI’s Antigena helps stop ransomware attack at Dordogne GHT
ransomware

Darktrace AI’s Antigena helps stop ransomware attack at Dordogne GHT

13 Apr 2022
Sabbath hackers are targeting US schools and hospitals
ransomware

Sabbath hackers are targeting US schools and hospitals

29 Nov 2021
US government warns of increased risk of ransomware over holiday season
ransomware

US government warns of increased risk of ransomware over holiday season

24 Nov 2021
Out-of-hours ransomware attacks have a greater impact on revenue
ransomware

Out-of-hours ransomware attacks have a greater impact on revenue

18 Nov 2021

Most Popular

Salaries for the least popular programming languages surge as much as 44%
Development

Salaries for the least popular programming languages surge as much as 44%

23 Jun 2022
The top programming languages you need to learn for 2022
Careers & training

The top programming languages you need to learn for 2022

23 Jun 2022
Swift exit: How the world cut off Russian banks
finance

Swift exit: How the world cut off Russian banks

24 Jun 2022