KP Snacks Hit by Cyberattack: Nuts and Crisps Shortage Likely

Closeup of an assortment of savoury crisps and nuts

KP Snacks, the parent company of popular snacks like McCoy’s crisps, Hula Hoops, and Nik Naks, faced a ransomware attack, potentially causing a shortfall of crisps and nuts across UK stores.

A company spokesperson said they discovered the attack on Friday, January 28th. Retailers and local stores across the UK were told to expect delays and cancellations till the end of March 2022.

KP Snacks Unable to Safely Process Orders

KP Snacks is a British snack manufacturer and owns some of the most popular brands. Their snack arsenal includes McCoys’s, Hula Hoops, Tyrell’s, Space Raiders, Skips, Butterkist, Pom-Bears, Nik Naks, and KP Nuts.

Unfortunately, customers may find it difficult to come across these brands in the near future. In a letter dated February 2nd, KP Snacks informed its partners about the ransomware attack and its impact on their operations.

KP Snacks said its internal experts are working along with third parties to learn the extent of the intrusion. As a consequence, the company is not able to process orders or dispatch goods safely.

Statement by KP Snacks

KP Snacks said its internal IT Team is assessing the situation along with third-party experts. However, the company confessed it is unsure when the situation will be resolved.

“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,” the company said. “We have been continuing to keep our colleagues, customers, and suppliers informed of any developments and apologize for any disruption this may have caused.”

Ransom Payment Does Not Guarantee Gaining Back Stolen Files

According to reports, the threat actors are threatening to release the data stolen from KP Snacks’ IT systems. This is usually how ransomware attacks play out: hackers will encrypt a victim’s systems, effectively locking them out of their own IT network. After this, they demand a ransom for handing over the decryption key.

However, the National Cyber Security Centre has warned that paying the ransom does not guarantee that one will gain back access to systems of information.

Recently, ransomware attacks have become increasingly commonplace. Hackers target organizations in a wide variety of sectors, and there is a rising number of reports of critical sectors like fuel and healthcare coming under attack.

If you want to learn more about ransomware, we recommend checking out this easy guide. It will also tell you how you can protect yourself from attacks.

Technology policy researcher
Prateek is a technology policy researcher with a background in law. His areas of interest include data protection, privacy, digital currencies, and digital literacy. Outside of his research interests, Prateek is an avid reader and is engaged in projects on sustainable farming practices in India.