KP Snacks cyber attack could cause shortage of Hula Hoops, McCoy's and Tyrrell's crisps

Hula Hoop crisps. Photo: andyrees1/Flickr. Give credit and don't modify. Creative Commons info here:
There could be a shortage of Hula Hoops crisps after a cyber attack. Credit: andyrees1/Flickr

There could be a shortage of popular crisps - including Hula Hoops, Tyrrell's and McCoy's - after producer KP Snacks was hit by a cyber attack.

The company, which produces a range of nuts and crisps in the UK, confirmed it was hit by ransomware at the end of January.

It has warned customers the incident could lead to supply issues with its products - which also include Pom-Bear, Skips, Nik Naks and KP Nuts.

According to industry news outlet Better Retailing, KP Snacks has warned shops it could not safely process orders or dispatch goods and deliveries could be delayed or cancelled.

The disruption could last until at least the end of March.

A spokesman for KP Snacks said: “On Friday 28 January we became aware that we were unfortunately victims of a ransomware incident.

“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.

“Our internal IT teams continue to work with third-party experts to assess the situation.

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

Ransomware is a cyber attack that locks files and data on a user’s computer and demands payment from the owner. It has been used in a number of high-profile cyber attacks in recent years.

In 2017, the NHS was targeted in the worldwide WannaCry attacks, which crippled organisations by targeting computers with outdated security. The virus affected more than 300,000 NHS computers, with 47 trusts in England and 13 Scottish health boards compromised.

Last year, the head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, Lindy Cameron, warned of the growing threat of ransomware attacks, saying it “presents the most immediate danger to UK businesses and most other organisations”.