Ransomware Suspected in Wiltshire Farm Foods Attack

A leading UK producer of frozen ready meals has revealed its systems are currently down after experiencing a serious cyber-attack.

Wiltshire Farm Foods said on Sunday that it is “currently experiencing severe difficulties” with its computer systems.

“If you are expecting a delivery this week (w/c 27th June) or have other concerns, please contact your local depot,” it continued.

“Unfortunately, as our systems are not currently working, we will be unable to make many deliveries in the next few days. We are also unable to contact customers personally as we do not have access to their telephone numbers.”

Although the firm released few other details about the attack, security experts were quick to single out the cause on social media.

“They’re not saying it, but ransomware,” said researcher Kevin Beaumont. “The new trend in ransomware is not talking about it, which will surely help matters.”

The ready meals producer, which is owned by parent company Apetito, said it hopes to get back on track by next week.

“We are doing everything we can to recover from this situation as soon as possible,” it added. “Where we are able to take orders, we are only offering deliveries from Monday July 4, by which time we hope to be back up and running.”

Although a relatively small UK manufacturer would seem like an incongruous target for ransomware, Apetito is a German-based frozen food giant with revenues in excess of €1bn.

Jonathan Knudsen, head of global research at the Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center, argued that every company is a software company today and must therefore embrace a more proactive approach to cybersecurity.

“Without a security mindset in all parts of the organization, the risk of disaster is high,” he added.

“Organizations must recognize that the software they use every day is a part of their infrastructure, just like office buildings or stores or factories. As such, organizations need to select, deploy, and operate software with an eye toward security at every step.”

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