‘No security breach’ says Mitre 10 as multi-day website outage grinds on

There’s good news, of sorts, for Mitre 10 customers and franchisees as the hardware chain’s multi-day website outage grinds on.

The company’s corporate office says the e-tail blackout is due to “technical issues” rather than a security breach that could have involved theft of customers’ credit card details.

“We apologise that our website is not currently available to customers due to technical issues, and understand how frustrating this is, particularly in the current environment,” a spokeswoman for the chain told the Herald around midday.

“Forensics undertaken by our team and independent experts to date have given us confidence the cause is not a security breach, and they are working with urgency to restore the website as soon as possible.”

The spokeswoman also explicitly ruled out a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack, where hackers don’t break into a system but do block others from accessing it.

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Click-and-collect shopping has been unavailable for Aucklanders under level 3 since gremlins first struck over the weekend.

“However, other means of ordering with our stores, by phone and email, have been implemented, with increased team numbers working to manage orders and inquiries,” the spokeswoman said.

Some Mitre 10 customers have taken to social media to vent over the outage.

“This is quite an outage 3 days now, any idea when we can expect to see it back up? This must be really hurting the franchisees in Auckland,” Chris Rust posted to the company’s Facebook page this morning.

“STILL down?! Think you need a new IT team!” Rob Ford weighed in.

Rust and Ford were just two of 137 who left mostly furious comments after a post by Mitre 10 on its Facebook page on Sunday, which read:

“We’re experiencing an outage on our website which unfortunately means our website and online orders are currently unavailable. Our team are working urgently to get things back up and running, and have you back to your projects around the home and garden.
Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause, we hope to get this resolved as soon as possible and will let you know once it’s sorted. Thanks for your understanding.”

The chain has now put a form online where want-to-be click-and-collect shoppers can leave their name and details, plus a description of a product or its SKU (stock keeping unit) number – if they somehow know it without access to Mitre 10’s website.

On Geekzone, user “Wonderferret” said: “It’s been up and down since Friday. Most of the weekend there was a banner message saying they couldn’t process online orders :-(“.

In July this year, Mitre 10 offered details of a major technology upgrade in partnership with the multinational SAP.

“Mitre 10 is two years into the project which encompasses SAP core retail processing, HRIS and two commerce cloud websites. The project is more than a technology implementation, though; there is a parallel workstream working towards Mitre 10’s target operating model – so that Mitre 10 has the organisational capability to leverage the significant investment,” a rep for Mitre 10 said in July.

“It’s a high risk/high reward strategy to undertake such a significant programme while the business has been trading at Christmas volumes for more than a year. This has put pressure on ageing legacy systems. Not to mention the tight labour market for retail and for the project.”

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