British shipping company Yodel allowed itself to be scrambled by a ‘cyber incident’

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British delivery company Yodel Delivery Network Ltd. is working to restore its computer networks after a “cyber incident” left shipments of clothes, wine and other items in limbo, forcing retailers to deal with customer complaints about delayed deliveries.

Liverpool-based Yodel, one of the UK’s largest shipping companies, gave no details of the nature of the incident. The company did not respond to questions about whether the disruption was from a cyberattack such as ransomware.

The company, which disclosed the outage on Tuesday, has made “significant progress” in restoring its systems after the incident, a spokesperson said. Tracking services are back online, the company said, warning however that some delivery information remains unavailable and backlogs could continue.

“We continue to monitor tracking systems and expect to see further improvements as we return to normal,” the spokesperson said Thursday. “Yodel is sincerely sorry for any disruption and inconvenience that may have been caused to customers and customers.”

Yodel operates from more than 50 locations in the UK, according to its website, delivering millions of parcels a week to more than 7,000 customers spanning economic sectors. The disruption to its systems — and its deliveries — has spilled outward to create headaches for its many customers.

Commenting via social media, consumers reported days of delivery delays, unavailable helplines and unreachable shipping numbers needed to collect packages from delivery centres.

After a Twitter user threatened on Tuesday to cancel his subscription to Naked Wines PLC due to delayed shipping, the online seller responded that Yodel was making all of its deliveries.

“Rest assured that we are working very hard around the clock with Yodel to resolve current issues and get your wines on the road as soon as possible,” Naked Wines tweeted. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

An Argos outlet in North London. Because it uses a number of delivery companies, a spokeswoman said, the chain was less affected by the Yodel disruption.


Photo:

Dinendra Haria/Zuma Press

Other retailers have also complained about social media. Businesses that use an array of delivery providers, such as clothing retailer Tu and electronics and furniture store Argos, said they were more isolated from network issues.

“Yodel only supports a small portion of Argos and Tu clothing deliveries, so we have been able to minimize disruption to customers,” said a spokeswoman for supermarket chain J Sainsbury PLC, which owns the companies.

Very, an online clothing retailer, warned in a note to customers that a “small number” of them could see delays if their deliveries depended on Yodel.

“We want to assure you that we do not provide payment information or customer passwords to our delivery partners,” said Very, who did not respond to requests for comment.

Yodel said on its website that it does not hold or process such data, but warned customers of possible phishing emails and social engineering attacks by individuals posing as employees. of Yodel.

Men’s shirts from Very. The company said a “small number” of its shipments could be delayed by the Yodel disruption.


Photo:

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News

“Our investigation, supported by third-party experts, is ongoing and we will provide an update as soon as we can,” the company said.

The Yodel incident follows a series of hacks of logistics and transport companies in recent months that have exacerbated supply chain problems and left cyber experts once again urging companies to strengthen their digital defenses.

In May last year, a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline Co. disrupted the East Coast’s largest fuel line for six days, leading some consumers to hoard gasoline. A February cyberattack on Washington-based logistics giant Expeditors International Inc.

forced the company to shut down many of its systems for about three weeks, according to a regulatory filing last month.

The freight company, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, said in a May 20 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was still dealing with the residual effects of the attack.

“The process wasn’t as simple as flipping a switch,” Expeditors said.

Write to David Uberti at [email protected]

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