Fishing equipment seller caught in hacker’s net
The UK’s biggest fishing shop has been hacked with its website redirecting avid anglers to an adult website.
Angling Direct, which sells fishing gear online and in stores, said it was hit by the attack on Friday evening.
In addition to the website redirect, his Twitter account was compromised to also reference a porn site and post the attacker’s contact details.
The company said it brought in cybersecurity experts to tackle the problem and alerted authorities.
On Angling Direct’s own Twitter account, the attacker posted a mocking tweet claiming the company had been sold to adult website Pornhub.
“Your data has already been transferred” to the adult video empire, he told fishing enthusiasts, apparently trolling them.
But Angling Direct said it was not clear whether personal data had been compromised – and no payment data could be.
The attacker also posted an email address they could be reached at, as well as an offer to return “information and access” to the site. No public ransom demand was made.
Fishing (or phishing) puns aside, this business will thrill business leaders.
Yes, this attack carries all the hallmarks of an immature teenage hacker having fun, but it undoubtedly causes serious trouble for the victim.
Experts tell me there are signs that employee login credentials have been stolen, allowing hackers to take over the website and, separately, the company’s Twitter account.
The motive is clear: Hackers want to be paid before handing over control to the company.
But in the meantime, the business is losing money on potential sales – not to mention the damage to trust and reputation, as customers are embarrassed or worse when they accidentally visit an explicit site.
In a statement, the company said: “We are aware of our data obligations; it is still too early to comment on the impact this incident has had on personal data.”
“It is important to note that the company does not hold any customer financial data, as our website transactions are processed by third parties.”
Angling Direct’s several dozen physical stores remain open for in-store purchases, according to a post by one of the sites on Facebook.
The company also posted on the Facebook page of at least one local store, apologizing to anyone “directed away from our site and at inappropriate content.”