The Works targeted by hackers

High street retailer The Works has revealed that it was forced to close some stores and suspend new stock deliveries after a cyber-attack.

The seller of craft supplies, toys and books said that five of its 526 shops have been closed since last week after hackers gained access to its computer systems and caused issues with its tills.

Deliveries to stores were suspended temporarily and there were delays to the fulfilment of online orders. However, the company said that store deliveries were expected to resume “imminently” and online service levels were returning to normal.

A statement by The Works added that all debit and credit card payments are processed outside of its own systems and no shoppers’ payment details had been compromised.

The incident has been described as a “ransomware” attack, although the hackers are understood not to have made any demands for cash, BBC News reported.

In response to the attack the company disabled all access to its systems, including email, as a precautionary measure.

External forensic cyber security experts are investigating the attack and carrying out recovery work.

The Works added that it has informed the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about the attack. The ICO can enforce fines in cases of serious data breaches.