WH Smith, Leading British Retailer, Confirms Data Breach Following Cyberattack
WH Smith, a retail company based in the UK, has experienced a security breach that has resulted in the exposure of data pertaining to both past and present employees.
With over 12,500 employees and a reported revenue of $1.67 billion in 2022, WH Smith operates 1,700 locations throughout the United Kingdom.
WH Smith’s cyberattack adds to a growing list of recent attacks on UK businesses, including a ransomware attack on Royal Mail’s international postal services that resulted in an extended period of downtime.
According to WH Smith, there is currently no indication that the cybercriminals accessed banking details in the attack. The retail chain also confirmed that the breach did not impact its trading operations. Its website, customer accounts, and customer databases remained unaffected as they are hosted on separate systems.
Despite the absence of financial data compromise in the cyberattack, Richard Hollis, CEO of Risk Crew, has expressed concern over the incident due to the exposure of personal information belonging to WH Smith’s employees.
Jasson Casey, CTO at Beyond Identity, emphasized the significance of the cyberattack on WH Smith as a further indication that cybercriminals are increasing the frequency and intensity of their attacks.
WH Smith has confirmed that its trading business was not impacted by the cyberattack. The retail company also assures that customer data remained secure as it is stored on separate systems that were not affected by the unauthorized access.
WH Smith has released a cybersecurity notice through London’s Stock Exchange, stating that the company experienced a cyber security incident resulting in unlawful access to certain company data, including data pertaining to both past and present employees.
According to WH Smith, “upon becoming aware of the incident, we immediately launched an investigation, engaged specialist support services, and implemented our incident response plans, which included notifying the relevant authorities.”
WH Smith has stated that it will directly notify individuals who have been impacted by the cyberattack and that it will provide special measures to support them, which may include identity protection services.