Hackers launch crippling attack on surf giants
SURF gear giants Billabong and Quiksilver have been hit by a crippling cyber-attack that has severely disrupted pre-Christmas sales.
Surf industry sources say Boardriders Inc, the US company which owns Gold Coast-based Billabong and Torquay-founded Quiksilver, was hit by international hackers who demanded a multi-million ransom.
A virus unleashed on the Huntington Beach-based company about two weeks ago crippled its international operations, including IT systems, communications, sales and distribution.
Billabong's Australian customers trying to buy merchandise online are still being told there is a week's delay in shipping.
Some international shoppers were reportedly offered 20 per cent discounts.
In a statement released in the US, Boardriders Inc said it had been "exposed to an increasingly common computer virus that impacted some of our systems in some regions".
"Our IT teams have been working to quickly restore our systems to support our operations, which are now largely transacting and shipping normally," it said.
"We are proud of how our teams have responded to this challenge, and we are incredibly grateful for their hard work.
We also greatly appreciate our customers' and vendors' patience and support during this brief interruption."
Billabong was started by former Gold Coast surfboard manufacturer Gordon Merchant and former wife Rena who began making boardshorts on their kitchen table at Burleigh Heads in 1973.
It went on to become a global public company worth hundreds of millions of dollars before being privatised and bought out by Boardriders, which also owns rival Quiksilver, last year.
Boardriders operates in more than 110 countries and has 630 stores worldwide as well as e-commerce sites in 35 countries.