Up to 300 independent retailers have been struck by a cyber attack at IT supplier Swan Retail, which has affected their ability to trade online and fulfil orders since Sunday, Retail Week can reveal.

The attack took place on Sunday, August 13, and caused “technical difficulties” with some of Swan’s back-office systems.

Those affected by the breach include a range of independent retailers across sectors including fashion, department stores, furniture and homewares, garden centres, pets, outdoors and sports and stadiums.

Swan Group was acquired by ClearCourse in November 2020 and supplies independent retailers across the country with stock-control systems, payment gateways, accounts systems and other IT solutions.

The attack is said to be a criminal cyber attack, which saw an area of Swan’s network “accessed by an unauthorised third party”.

It is understood that a panel of external cybersecurity advisors have been called on to launch a full forensic investigation into the breach.

Investigations are ongoing and there is no evidence to suggest that a personal data breach has taken place.

Swan said it informed its internal team and the retailers impacted “as quickly as possible” following the attack and it is currently liaising with law enforcement on the matter.

A Swan spokesperson told Retail Week: “Swan has experienced a criminal cyber-attack incident causing significant disruption to our services and impacting some of our customers’ businesses.

“We are working around the clock to resolve the issue and liaising with law enforcement.”

A source said that Swan cannot confirm when its online systems will return but that the team is “making good progress”.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said it was not aware of the cyber attack on Swan but that not all breaches need to be reported.

UPDATE: On Monday August 21, Swan Retail said: “We have worked around the clock to resolve this issue and have now begun to resume provision of our online services. We take cybersecurity extremely seriously and continue to liaise with law enforcement on this matter.”

A spokesperson for Swan added that there is no evidence to suggest payments processing has been impacted.