Major shipping disruption at KP Snacks after cyber-attack

The snack producer behind McCoy’s, Hula Hoops, and Tyrells crisps has announced it is facing disruption to its manufacturing and shipping processes following a ransomware incident which took place last Friday.

According to a letter sent out to shop owners and published by website Better Retailing, the cyber-attack has meant KP Snacks “cannot safely process orders or dispatch goods”. This could cause delays and cancellations to deliveries lasting until the end of March, said the company message.

KP Snacks – which also owns Butterkist popcorn, KP nuts, Nik Naks, as well as other snack brands – said in response to the attack it immediately rolled out its “cybersecurity response plan”, engaged a “leading forensic information technology firm”, and sought legal counsel to assist it in its investigation.

“While this is causing some disruption to our manufacturing and shipping processes, we are already working on plans to keep our products stocked and on shelves,” said the company in a statement. “We have been continuing to keep our employees, customers, and suppliers informed of any developments and apologise for any disruption this may have caused.”

This is not the first time a British snack food manufacturer has been targeted by cybercriminals; last October Walkers was hit by an incident that saw shortages of its crisps lasting until the end of the year.

“This attack on KP Snacks underscores that the global cyber risk equally applies to British institutions and their supply chains, with KP Snacks now predicting shortages after a ransomware attack,” said Keiron Holyome, vice president UK, Ireland, and Middle East, BlackBerry. “It doesn’t matter whether it's logistics, fuel or food – these supply chains present unique and complex challenges from a cybersecurity perspective.”

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