Lakeland, which sells kitchenware and home gadgets, admitted last night that it had been hit by hackers and that customers’ details may have been stolen.
It urged all customers using the same passwords on other online accounts to change them immediately.
The incident occurred on Friday night in what Lakeland described as “a sophisticated and sustained attack”. But customers were only informed yesterday when the company discovered two encrypted databases had been entered.
Tony Preedy, the marketing director, said: “Our experts analysing the situation have not been able to confirm whether any data has been taken but we decided it was appropriate to tell customers there was a risk. We had not left the doors unlocked, so to speak, but nevertheless they were able to penetrate.”
The hackers are said to have exploited a recently identified flaw in the Java software used by the servers running its website.