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Ransomware gang successfully hacks UK water supplier

Written by Fri 19 Aug 2022

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More than five terabytes of data from South Staffs Water has reportedly been accessed by ransomware group Cl0p.

A wide range of stolen files, including scans of passports and driver licenses, were published by the hackers on their blog. Unlike many other ransomware attacks where cyber criminals lock access to company systems and will only return access once a ransom is paid, this attack is said to have seen Cl0p take data from South Staffs Water and is now seeking to negotiate a fee for its return.

Most concerningly, Cl0p has claimed it gained access to the systems that control the chemical composition of water supplies, indicating that even security to the most sensitive networks has been breached.

According to a statement made by Cl0p, South Staffs Water is “all for money and not deliver reliable service…it is better to save one pound so management can make bonuses and stock price do well.” The hackers allege they have had access to systems for months and found holes in all systems.

The Cl0p group first believed they had hacked Thames Water, despite all of the documents they published being related to South Staffs Water. Thanks to a policy of not purposely attacking any form of critical infrastructure or healthcare systems, none of the data held at South Staffs Water has been encrypted.

Since the attack, South Staffs Water have offered a statement that confirms they fell victim to a criminal cyber attack. Little additional information was released by the water supplier, except to say that the incident has not impaired the ability to supply safe water.

“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,” the statement said.

Written by Fri 19 Aug 2022


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