UK: Water supplier South Staffordshire targeted in a cyber attack

British water supplier, South Staffordshire Water, has reportedly confirmed that it has been targeted in a criminal cyberattack.

In an official statement confirming the attack, the company stressed that it is still supplying safe water to its customers despite the challenging turn of events.

It added that it was able to keep things up and running owing to the robust systems as well as controls it has over the water supply and quality, along with the quick work of its response team to address the attack and implement additional measures for precaution.

This statement was released after a ransomware group, Cl0p, claimed to have hacked into a different water supplier’s network.

The group had posted stolen identification documents from its ‘bungled’ cyber-extortion attempt, and also criticized that firm’s security, adding that other hackers can also break into their system and cause heavy damage.

However, it is not clear how the group had misidentified the victim firm.

Cl0p usually encrypts the files on the victim’s computer networks rendering the IT systems unusable unless an extortion payment is made, which may go as far as millions of dollars.

For this instance, the group is demanding an extortion payment not for decrypting the company’s files but for not releasing the stolen data, and will also explain how it was able to hack into the company’s network.

In another claim, which South Staffs Water has disputed, the ransomware group said that it would be easy to alter their water’s chemical composition but is not interested in harming people.

South Staffs stated that the firm is seeing disruption in its corporate IT network and that its teams are working on resolving the issue as soon as possible, adding that its customer service teams are working as usual.

A spokesperson from the UK government stated that the authorities are aware of the cyber incident and that the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) as well as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is liaising closely with South Staffordshire.

The spokesperson added that following an extensive discussion with the water supplier and the Drinking Water Inspectorate, it has been assured that the drinking water supply has not been impacted.

Puja More

Puja More holds a graduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Pune. Nurturing her passion of playing with words however, Puja undertook content writing as a career path and boasts of rich experience in content production, copywriting, and digital marketing. Presently, Puja writes articles on technology, business, and healthcare for and a few similar portals.