The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has revealed that it was held to ransom by ‘serious and organised’ cyber criminals. Sources, including the BBC, reported that cyber criminals stole thousands of digital files belonging to the environmental regulator, amounting to about 1.2GB of data, and published them on the internet. Contracts, strategy documents and databases are among the 4,000 files released on the dark web. SEPA chief executive Terry A’Hearn said: “We’ve been clear that we won’t use public finance to pay serious and organised criminals intent on disrupting public services and extorting public funds.” SEPA rejected a ransom demand for the attack, which has been claimed by the international Conti ransomware group.
“Ransomware is a scourge that is costing organisations billions of pounds and every time a victim pays, it fuels further attacks,” says cyber reporter Joe Tidy.