SHOPPERS are complaining of a national shortage of Hula Hoops and McCoys crisps after KP snacks was held to ransom by Russian cyber thugs.
The snack brand – which makes Skips, Butterkist popcorn and KP Nuts too – was hacked last month, with its IT systems "wiped out".
Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and WH Smith’s are among all the shops which have run out or are running low on stock.
KP warned of shortages after revealing it had been targeted by a ransomware attack.
It said that hackers had compromised its systems and that it could not process orders or dispatch orders.
The company was hit by hackers from the feared Conti ransomware gang which is believed to be operating out of Saint Petersburg in Russia, the birthplace of tyrant Vladimir Putin.
Hundreds of Brits have taken to social media in the past few days to say they are unable to buy any flavours of the snack.
One user complained on Twitter: “Three different shops today and couldn't find BBQ Beef Hula Hoops. What's going on @HulaHoopsUK ? Is there a supply shortage in the North West?”
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Another, Ali Welford, wrote: “I've been in a dodgy mood for a couple of weeks now, and I'm convinced it's at least in part due to the apparent national shortage of beefy Hula Hoops.”
Another user called said on Sunday: “Why is there a shortage of cheese and onion McCoys wtf”.
While another Twitter user, Francesca L, said: “I can’t find a multi pack of McCoys anywhere. My twin lads who have Down’s syndrome won’t eat anything else in the crisp dept. Meltdowns have commenced any reason for the shortage ?”
Shoppers have also been bombarding supermarket chains’ Twitter accounts to ask why they didn’t have any in stock.
A KP spokesperson said: “We continue to make progress in recovering from our recent ransomware incident.
"We have resumed production across our seven manufacturing sites, which has remained as planned.
"At this initial stage, we are focussing production capacity on an adapted range of priority [products] to support a phased recovery.
"We would like to thank our customers for their support and flexibility while we work at pace to restore full supply."
With over 2,000 employees, the company made sales of £479 million last year.
News of the KP Snacks hack came shortly after supermarket chain SPAR had to close stores following a ransomware attack in December.
It said over 300 stores had been unable to process card payments though some managed to stay open by only accepting cash.
It's not the first crisps shortage that shoppers have faced recently.
IT problems at Walkers saw supply disruptions for some of the nation's favourite snacks at the end of last year.
A lack of delivery drivers also meant shoppers faced crisps shortages last year.
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