Holloway: Burst water main floods London street
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The company, which is the parent company of Cambridge Water and South Staffs Water, released a statement after a ransomware group known as Cl0p claimed to have hacked a different water company’s networks.
In a bungled extortion attempt the group posted apparent stolen identification documents but somehow misidentified the parent company.
The hacking group also criticised the company’s online security and suggested it could be hacked into by other criminal groups.
C10p are known for encrypting the files on the computer networks of their victims, making the IT systems unusable unless an extortionate sum is paid out.
However, in this case there is no encryption involved, with C10p instead choosing to demand an extortion payment to prevent stolen data being shared.
In their statement South Staffordshire Water said it was “still supplying safe water to all of our Cambridge Water and South Staffs Water customers.
South Staffordshire Water has experienced a cyber attack (Image: Getty)
Customers have been assured their water supply is safe (Image: Getty)
“This is thanks to the robust systems and controls over water supply and quality we have in place at all times as well as the quick work of our teams to respond to this incident and implement the additional measures we have put in place on a precautionary basis.”
In an unverified claim disputed by South Staffordshire the hackers stated: “It would be easy to change chemical composition for their water but it is important to note we are not interested in causing harm to people.”
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) advises not to pay extortionists as there is no guarantee they will stick to their end of the arrangement.
A drought has been declared across many regions of the UK (Image: Getty)
NCSC’s chief executive, Lindy Cameron, said earlier this year: “Ransomware remains the biggest online threat to the UK and we do not encourage or condone paying ransom demands to criminal organisations.
“Unfortunately we have seen a recent rise in payments to ransomware criminals and the legal sector has a vital role to play in helping reverse that trend.
“Cyber security is a collective effort and we urge the legal sector to work with us as we continue our efforts to fight ransomware and keep the UK safe online.”
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Storms have been blasting the UK (Image: Getty)
In its statement, South Staffs said: “We are experiencing disruption to our corporate IT network and our teams are working to resolve this as quickly as possible. It is important to stress that our customer service teams are operating as usual.”
A government spokesperson told Sky News: “We are aware that South Staffordshire Plc has been the target of a cyber incident. Defra and NCSC are liaising closely with the company.
“Following extensive engagement with South Staffordshire Plc and the Drinking Water Inspectorate, we are reassured there are no impacts to the continued safe supply of drinking water, and the company is taking all necessary steps to investigate this incident.”