On Black Friday, hackers struck at the most critical moment for high profile retail supermarket chains in Denmark.
A Danish company that owns a chain of over 100 supermarkets in Denmark has informed in a statement that their websites were subject to Distributed Denial of Service (or DDoS) cyber attacks on Friday just when millions of customers were making purchases as part of the Black Friday sales extravaganza.
However, the supermarkets, Bilka and Fotex, say that the cyber attacks did not result in any breach of customer data on their sites.
A Common Hacking Method
A particular method of initiating cyber attacks is DDoS, and the tactic is increasingly being used by hackers around the globe.
Distributed Denial of Service is the process in which hackers will flood a website being attacked with requests in very large numbers, and this will result in the site crashing.
Once the site crashes, the customer who is visiting the page receives a message that the particular service she or he was seeking is not available.
In the case of Bilka and Fotex, it is very possible that they lost business over the weekend because of these cyber attacks. Surely, it would have definitely hit sales.
By performing an analysis based on the previous year’s figures around this time, the companies may determine the quantum of loss of sales as a result of these cyber attacks.
Other Sites Not Affected
Interestingly, the company also runs other businesses outside of Denmark, like the Netto discount shops which are located in Germany, Poland and Sweden.
The Netto site was not affected by the cyber attacks this time.
The main parent company in all these cases is Dansk Supermarked, the second largest retail chain in the country with around 30 percent of the overall market share.
Any hacking activity of this nature, therefore, does attract a lot of public attention to these business entities.
And the supermarket websites now have to convince their customers that their personal data is safe on their site and the temporary DDoS issue has been resolved.
Black Friday Sales
For both e-commerce websites and physical retailers, Black Friday is the ultimate shopping event of the year.
Millions of customers show up to take advantage of discounted prices and deals for buying Christmas gifts for friends and family, and even everyday items for themselves.
At the same time, hackers wait for such opportune events to mount cyber attacks like the one described above. Usually, they leave a ransom note behind and decrypt the data.
This way, only when the website owner pays up, the data is released.
In this particular Distributed Denial of Service attack, the hackers don’t appear to have taken the data of Dansk’s customers.
It’s possible that it is a first-time hacker who’s testing out the tactic to see if it works or not.
Dansk may have to be more careful since cyber attacks like this one may happen again, and this time the consequences could be direr.
Possibly the site has upped its security capabilities.