The independent London newspaper

Primrose Hill butchers ‘one of the first’ to be hit by global cyber attack

Exclusive: Father and son business was targeted with "ransomware" on Friday morning

13 May, 2017 — By William McLennan

The virus took hold of the shop’s electronic tills and scales

AN independent butcher in Primrose Hill believes he was among the first to be targeted in a global cyber attack.

Les Wood, of Primrose Hill Butchers, said: “I went home in the afternoon and I had the TV on, breaking news the NHS has just been cyber attacked, it said. Then of course they showed you the picture of how to pay and all this, and I thought jesus, that’s exactly the same picture that I took this morning.”

The so-called “ransomware” attack, believed to have been spread by a criminal gang, takes over computer systems and demands payment of $300 in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin to unlock files.

It has been reported in more than 70 countries across the globe since the outbreak yesterday.

Mr Wood, who runs the business in Regent’s Park Road with his son Leslie, said their digital scales and tills were affected by the attack from around 11am on Friday. “We couldn’t weigh nothing, we couldn’t open the tills, it was completely ridiculous,” he said.

Mr Wood said they phoned the company that leases the computer system, adding: “They said one of the boys must have some dodgy kind of thing on their phone and it’s somehow got a virus into the system. Nobody knew it was going to be absolutely global.”

They are now open and back to trading as normal, Mr Wood said.

The father and son team last year took over the business, which is no longer run by Jack O’Shea.

Leslie Wood said: “It started here first, I think. All the news said it started about 2pm, in here it was 11:30am. We were definitely one of the first.”

He said he a “little suspicion” that it was a large-scale attack, adding: “That piece of software is not what you see everyday. That’s not a little virus, that’s a major worm.”

Share this story

Post a comment