‘Cyber incident’ at one of the UK’s biggest vet companies

One of the UK’s largest vet companies has been hit by a “cyber incident” with disruption caused across all operations and a risk of “malicious access” to personal information.

An “ongoing operational impact” is likely, CVS Group said, due to increased security and monitoring of IT systems in the wake of the attack.

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The company, which owns vet practices as well as diagnostic laboratories and pet crematoriums, said it had “recently detected and intercepted a cyber incident” on Monday morning.

What happened?

There was “unauthorised external access” to a “limited number” of company IT systems, according to the CVS group.

No information on the possible attacker was given by the firm.

The privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, had been contacted due to the “risk of malicious access to personal information”, CVS Group added.

Efforts to contain the attack have “caused considerable operational disruption” over the past week, and IT systems had been temporarily taken offline in an attempt to isolate the issue and prevent wider unauthorised access.


Those steps have, to date, been effective in preventing further external access to CVS systems, it said.

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Are pet owners being overcharged?

Work to figure out the extent and nature of the attack is under way.

While the majority of veterinary care has continued, some IT systems are “not working as efficiently” as usual which is affecting operations in vet practices, the CVS group said.

IT services are said to have been restored across the majority of businesses.

Who are CVS Group?

CVS Group buys up smaller vet practices and in February 2022 owned 467 across the UK.

It’s listed on the London Stock Exchange but also has operations in the Netherlands, Ireland and Australia which were unaffected by the attack.

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A run of IT troubles

The incident is the latest in a run of firms affected by cyber problems in the last few months.

Less than two weeks ago Barclays apologised after customers experienced difficulties with payments into and out of accounts, as well as with its app, telephone and online banking services.

Major supermarkets Sainsbury’s and Tesco were last month unable to fulfil online deliveries due to technical troubles caused by a software update.

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Also in March was the interruption to McDonald’s orders across the world and temporary closure of some branches due to system glitches caused by a third-party provider, the fast food giant said.