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Hackers target Arnold Clark in Christmas Eve cyber attack as bosses insist customer information is safe – Car Dealer Magazine | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


A gang of hackers handed Arnold Clark a particularly unwelcome gift on Christmas Eve after the dealer group fell victim to a cyber attack.

The firm, which recently topped our Car Dealer Top 100 list, saw its computer systems downed on December 24.

The outfit’s telephone system was also impacted by the breach but a spokesman insisted last week that there was no evidence of customer information being compromised.

In a desperate attempt to fix the problem, the group’s IT chief was forced to cut short a festive trip to Italy and called back to work, The Sun reports.

Despite his best efforts, sales teams were still unable to process details on the company’s system four days on from the attack.

A source close to the situation said on December 28: ‘It happened on Christmas Eve and their systems are still down four days on.

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‘The hackers wiped out their systems and they are trying to recover customers details while rebuilding their system.

‘Staff email addresses and even the phones aren’t working.

‘The IT guy was on holiday in Italy but they couldn’t get hold of him. Eventually they tracked him down to his hotel and he was told he had to get the first flight home.

‘Employees have been told to keep what’s happened under wraps but there was no chance something this big wouldn’t get out.

‘They are having to take customer details using paper and pen, it’s like being back to the 1970s.’

Arnold Clark are far from the first dealer group to suffer a cyber attack, with several other firms falling victim to hackers in recent years.

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Last October, Car Dealer reported that Pendragon was being held to £54m ransom by hackers.

On that occasion, the group had its IT servers hacked, with dark web criminal gang LockBit 3.0 stealing five per cent of its data.

There was also a similar incident at Holdcroft Motor Group, which saw its core systems ‘damaged beyond repair’ or ‘permanently deleted’.

The firm told us back in August that the attack ‘may have compromised employees’ information’.

Other firms to fall victim to so-called ‘ransomware’ attacks include LSH Auto, Emil Frey and Kia.

Reacting to the latest attack, an Arnold Clark spokesman said last week: ‘Over the Christmas weekend we have had a network issue which has affected our computer and telephone systems.

‘Our IT team are in the process of rectifying this issue, and the good news is that our telephone systems will be operational tonight.

‘Our IT Security team have confirmed from their investigations to date that there is no evidence of any customer data being compromised.

‘We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their understanding and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.’

Car Dealer has approached the firm for an update.


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