Animates website forced offline after breach compromises customers' credit cards

The website of pet store Animates has been shut down after a security breach led to some customers' details becoming compromised.

CEO Rod Gibson told customers about the breach, which was discovered on September 13, on Friday afternoon.

An unidentified third party is believed to have gained access to the website between June 29 and September 13, potentially accessing customer data.

Gibson said the site was shut down on September 13 and a full investigation was launched. External IT consultants have been brought in to assist the investigation.

It's believed customers' address, email and phone numbers, credit/debit card details provided to complete the purchase, and username and password could have been compromised.

“We unreservedly apologise to our customers,” Gibson said. “We pride ourselves on providing great experiences for our customers, and this includes safe and secure online shopping." 

“We take the protection of our customers' data very seriously and we are devastated by this incident.”

The site remains offline and will be replaced with a new one with no links to the previous website in the coming days.

The new website has been under development for more than a year and has been audited and certified by independent security specialists.

Anyone who made purchases on the website is asked to keep an eye on their credit card activity and change passwords for other sites if they were similar to the Animates one.

Customers should also keep a lookout for email, telephone or text-based scams and contact their bank immediately if they see anything out of the ordinary in their account.