A cyber attack hit more than 300 Spar convenience stores in the north of England, some of which were forced to close their doors.
Sunday’s attack targeted James Hall & Company in Preston, Lancashire, which manages Spar’s tills and IT systems.
Stores were unable to accept card payments with those that remained open in cash only.
The National Cyber Security Center and Lancashire Police are investigating.
A spokesperson for the former said: “We are aware of an issue affecting the Spar stores and are working with partners to fully understand the incident.”
A Spar spokesperson said: “We are working to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.
“We apologize for the inconvenience this is causing our customers and are working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation.”
It is not the first time that a supermarket chain has been brought to its knees by a cyber attack.
In July, hackers caused 500 Co-op stores in Sweden to close due to the removal of checkout counters and self-service machines.
Likewise, it was the supermarket’s IT provider who was hit by ransomware.
The question for James Hall is now one that all cyber attack victims fear: Will we pay criminals to bring our online stores back?
But of course for the hundreds of thousands of Spar customers affected by the hack the most pressing question is when will their local stores reopen.
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- June 9
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