21 Apr 2022 have suspended their website due to systems hack on 14th April, WHSmith Group revealed.

Funky Pigeon, a market leading online personalised greeting cards and gift business owned by WHSmith, closed their site last Thursday; they have also suspended all orders following the cyber security incident. The company shared that their systems were affected by the hack but reassured that their customer payment data was accessed. However, there were no mentions of any other personal details being taken.

The company sent an email to all customers from the past 12 months to inform them about the incident explaining that no payment data was at risk, and they did not believe that any passwords or other data had been affected. However, they are currently investigating if any names, address, email addresses and personalised gifts or gift designs have been accessed.

“As soon as we discovered the incident on Thursday, we launched a forensic investigation led by external experts to understand the incident and whether there has been impact on customer data”, Spokesperson for WHSmith. “We take the security of customer data extremely seriously and we have temporarily suspended any new orders via the website.”

“We would like to sincerely apologise to our customers for any concern or disruption this may cause, and reassure them that our teams are working around the clock to investigate and resolve this incident,” the company added.

Currently, there are no new orders being placed via their website with an error message “Oops! We’re experiencing some issues and we can’t accept new orders at the moment. Please try again later!”

This attack comes 2 weeks after retailer, The Works had to shut 5 of its stores and suspend their stock deliveries earlier this month, as hackers gained access to their computer systems and caused issues with tills.

Increase in Cyber Attacks

It was found that 62% of UK-based organisations experienced an increase in cyber threats in the last two years. A report from Software Advice also found that 57% of incidents involved were phishing emails and 54% were ransomware.

Businesses have been urged to make sure they take double measures in protecting the storage of personal data of customers and employees. Confirmed by International Law Firm, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, 42 million people in the UK were affected by data breaches, up from 2.2million in the previous year.

Allianz Risk Barometer mentioned that cyber attacks are the biggest concern for companies globally in 2022. The threat of ransomware attacks, data breaches or major IT are causing more of a concern within organisations than anything else.