Hooked on porn: Angling Direct snared by hack attack

fishingAngling Direct, one of the UK’s leading retailers of fishing gear, has been hooked by a major ongoing hack attack which has seen its website, and Twitter and Facebook accounts compromised, with customers being redirected to adult site Pornhub.

The company said it has brought in cyber-security experts to tackle the problem, and has also alerted the authorities, including the Information Commissioner’s Office.

On Angling Direct’s Twitter account, the attacker posted a mocking tweet claiming the company had been sold to Pornhub, claiming “Your data has already been transferred”.

The attacker also posted an email address where they could be reached, along with an offer to return “information and access” to the site. No public demands for ransom were made.

However, Angling Direct said it is not clear if any personal data has been compromised, and maintained payment data was not affected. The firm’s Facebook is still offline.

The business recorded sales of over £67.6m in its most recent results for 2020/21, up 27.1% on the previous year. Online sales rocketed 39.9% to £35.3m, with international sales on 12.4%. Pre-profit tax was £2.6m compared to a pre-tax loss of £1.5m for 2019/2020.

In a statement, to the London Stock Exchange, the company said it was managing a cyber security incident after detecting unauthorised activity on its network late on November 5.

It added: “This unauthorised activity shut down the company’s websites and these remain inactive. Some of the company’s social media accounts have also been compromised. The Board has appointed external cyber security specialists whose investigations are underway to establish what happened. Work continues round the clock to bring the websites back online while our 39 retail stores across the UK have remained open and continue to trade.”

It has since released a further statement, which reads: “We are mindful of our obligations regarding data; it is too soon yet to make any determination around the impact this incident has had on personal data.

“Importantly, the company does not hold any customer financial data, as our website transactions are handled by third parties.”

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