One of South Korea’s largest retailers had to shut down nearly half of its retail stores on Sunday after a ransomware attack.
E-Land said its corporate network system was attacked early in the morning, forcing it to close 23 of its 50 NC department stores and NewCore outlets.
According to Yonhap, E-Land quarantined part of its corporate network system to contain the damage and police are now investigating the attack’s origins.
Ransomware is malicious software that blocks users from accessing their digital files until a payment is made for a decryption key.
The news comes as international computer security and antivirus software giant McAfee warned retailers in Asia Pacific to be on the alert for a raft of malicious attacks targeting retailers and their customers during the Black Friday event this week, and the subsequent peak Christmas-New Year trading season.
McAfee’s July Quarterly Threats Report found that cyber attacks against the retail industry jumped 15 per cent in the first quarter of this year. With more people turning to online shopping this year it can be expected Black Friday will attract even more attacks.
Between assaults on point-of-sale terminals, distributed denial of service attacks to crash websites, as well as ransomware, malware, and phishing, there are a number of ways criminals look to target companies and their customers.
McAfee advises all e-commerce businesses to have a page on their site dedicated to educating customers on what to look out for to avoid scams, and to communicate any scams that have been reported. Additionally, employees should be trained in what to look for in order to better identify potential scams that may be occurring.
“Should a retailer become the victim of a successful cyberattack, the results can be catastrophic. Loss of reputation, financial impact, brand damage, loss of trust and even having to close the doors. This is nothing to laugh at,” the company said.
“This is serious business for the cybercriminals and protecting your systems, customers and even vendors must be a priority.”