The UK’s largest fishing shop has been hacked, with its website redirecting keen anglers to an adult website.
Angling Direct, which sells fishing gear online and through stores, said it was hit by the attack late Friday.
In addition to the website redirect, his Twitter account was compromised to also refer to a porn site and to post the attacker’s contact details.
The company said it had engaged cybersecurity experts to address the issue and alerted authorities.
On the Angling Direct Twitter account, the attacker posted a mocking tweet claiming that the company had been sold to the adult website Pornhub.
“Your data has already been transferred” to the adult video empire, he told fishing enthusiasts, apparently pulling them.
The attacker also posted an email address where he could be reached, along with an offer to return “information and access” to the site. No public ransom requests were made.
Fishing (or phishing) puns aside, this case will send shivers down the spine of company bosses.
Yes, this attack has all the hallmarks of an immature teen hacker having fun, but it undoubtedly causes serious problems for the victim.
Experts tell me the signs indicate that employee login credentials have been stolen, allowing hackers to take over the company’s website and, separately, the company’s Twitter account.
The reason is clear: Hackers want to get paid before they give control back to the company.
But in the meantime the company is losing money from potential sales, not to mention trust and reputational damage, as customers are left embarrassed or worse when they accidentally visit an explicit site.
Angling Direct said it is unclear whether personal data has been compromised and that no payment data may be.
“We are aware of our data obligations; it is still too early to determine the impact this incident has had on personal data,” he said in his statement.
“It is important to point out that the company does not hold any financial customer data, as our website transactions are handled by third parties.”
Angling Direct’s several dozen brick-and-mortar stores remain open for in-store purchases, according to a post from one of the locations on Facebook.
The company has also posted messages on the Facebook page of at least one local store, apologizing to anyone who has been “directed away from our site and into inappropriate content”.
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