The Scottish automotive retail giant confirmed that it was hit by a cyberattack on Christmas Eve.
After being notified of “suspicious activity” on its network by external cybersecurity consultants on December 23, the company decided to bring its network down as a protective measure.
This resulted in cutting connectivity to the internet, dealerships, and third parties.
Although the company’s telephone system and booking services were also affected, Arnold Clark said there was no evidence of customer data being compromised.
“Our priority has been to protect our customers’ data, our systems, and our third-party partners. While this has been achieved, this action has caused temporary disruption to our business and unfortunately our customers,” the Group said on Linkedin.
Despite some statements that the group’s IT chief had to return from a trip to Italy earlier than expected to deal with the issue, that was strongly denied by an Arnold Clark spokesperson, Car Dealer reports.
“Our external security partners have now been performing an extensive review of our whole IT network and infrastructure, which is a mammoth task, and they are providing guidance to our IT team on the re-enabling of our network and systems in a safe, secure, and phased manner,” the company further explained.
Earlier on December 28, an internal source told the Sun that: “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.”
The company’s branches are currently open and able to assist the customers using temporary systems put in place until Arnold Clark manages to restore its full systems safely.
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