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Auckland’s oldest surviving department store hit by alleged ransomware attack

Smith & Caughey’s has been listed as a victim on LockBit’s ransomware leak site, and the threat actor is threatening to release data within hours.

user icon David Hollingworth
Tue, 04 Jun 2024
Auckland’s oldest-surviving department store hit by alleged ransomware attack
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A New Zealand department store has become one of the latest victims of the LockBit ransomware gang.

LockBit listed Auckland-based Smith & Caughey’s on its darknet leak site on 2 June and has provided a very short deadline for any ransom payment.

As of writing, the countdown to publication is approaching eight hours to go. The gang has not listed its ransom demand, nor has it shared any evidence of the hack, but it has briefly listed the data it claims to have.


“Finance, HR, accounting, management, [and] IT department data” are all that LockBit has said so far about the hack.

Smith & Caughey’s is one of eight victims posted by LockBit since the calendar flipped over into June.

The chain is one of the oldest surviving retail businesses in New Zealand, having been established in 1880. The company has, however, fallen on hard times in recent years and announced in May 2024 that it would cease trading in 2025 due to poor business.

While LockBit is being quiet about just what data it does have, Smith & Caughey’s privacy policy lists the data that it collects about its customers, and that could, in theory, be exposed.

“Smith & Caughey’s collects and holds personally identifiable information, such as your name, e-mail address, home, work and postal address and/or telephone number. Smith & Caughey’s also collects demographic information, such as your postcode, age, gender and purchasing preferences,” according to the store’s policies.

“Information about your computer hardware and software is also automatically collected by Smith & Caughey’s when you use the website. This information can include your IP address, browser type, access times and/or referring website addresses. This information is used by Smith & Caughey’s for the operation of the website and the services offered on the website, to maintain the quality of the services offered on the website, and to provide general statistics regarding use of the website.”

Cyber Daily has reached out to Smith & Caughey’s for comment on the alleged incident.

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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