German wholesaler Metro has suffered a major international cyber attack last week. Checkout systems and electronic price tags regularly failed, as hackers took the retail group’s IT systems hostage.
Cash registers and price tags down
On 17 October, the first customers reported that the cash register system and electronic price labelling in Metro and Makro shops in Austria, France and Germany were not working properly. Later last week, it emerged that some deliveries were delayed because the underlying IT system also had issues. Even mail traffic was reportedly disrupted at one point.
At first, the German wholesaler blamed the issues on unnamed IT problems, which caused cash registers to keep failing and meant it took longer to print invoices, but Metro has since admitted there was a large-scale cyber attack. Investigations in collaboration with external experts and the authorities revealed that all countries where the food wholesaler operates were affected.
Only today, a week later, Metro confirmed that the problems were over. Speaking to Krone Zeitung, spokeswoman Alexa Kazda-Klabouch said the situation was back under control. The IT systems were shut down not only to fix the problems, but also as a security measure to protect data, she claims. Whether any data was leaked and whether a ransom was paid to the cybercriminals is not known. Just last week, the company announced strong financial results, but there was no mention of the cyber attack at the time.