Car dealership target of cyber-attack

A suspected cyber-attack on car dealership Arnold Clark’s network forced the company to shut down systems across the UK on Christmas Eve.

The company was founded by Sir John Arnold Clark, who became the first billionaire car dealer in Britain.

Arnold Clark confirmed it was notified by external cyber security consultants of “suspicious traffic” on its network on 23 December.

A spokesperson for the company said it made the decision to bring down its network voluntarily as a “purely protective measure” which resulted in it cutting connectivity to the internet, dealerships and third-parties.

Telephones, booking services and other technical systems were affected by the issue leaving customers trying to use them unable to do so.

The company said it had been able to protect customer data as well as systems and those of third-party partners.

It added that the decision to shut down the network caused temporary disruption to the business and customers.

“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,” a spokesperson said.

“Our showrooms and branches are open and will be able to assist our customers using our temporary systems until we have been able to restore our full systems safely. We expect to resume customer vehicle collections later this week and our branches are contacting customers to arrange this.”

“Once again, we would like to thank our customers for their understanding and to apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.”