The (PFEW) Police Federation of England and Wales data breach incidents were announced earlier this month, and they’re potentially huge. The PFEW cyber attacks may have affected 120,000 police employees.
Although PFEW say that they don’t believe any information was exposed, they cannot rule it out. For the potential victims of the breaches, this isn’t helpful. It’s hard enough these days being on the police force with constant cuts and under-staffing.
This kind of added stress in the current environment of policing isn’t helpful at all.
About the Police Federation of England and Wales data breach
The recently announced Police Federation of England and Wales data breach incidents may affect as many as 120,000 police employees from over 40 different forces. PFEW say that they discovered two cyber attacks; one on 9th March 2019, and the other on 21st March 2019. They say that they acted promptly to defend against them and prevent any damage. It’s believed that the attacks were not targeted specifically against PFEW and were a part of a wider campaign that they ended up getting hit by.
You may recall the 2017 WannaCry incident that hit the NHS hard. That malware attack targeted older and more outdated systems that can be weaker. This ransomware incident could be a similar event.
The PFEW cyber attacks are thought to have not led to data being exposed. However, no one can be certain for sure.
What’s being done about the Police Federation of England and Wales data breach incidents?
The Police Federation of England and Wales data breach incidents have been reported to the UK’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s office (ICO). They have also been reported to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and a criminal investigation has been opened.
They say that after the first incident, steps were taken to protect their systems. However, they’re looking into how the second incident ended up happening as well.
Some have criticised the response times in the wake of the PFEW cyber attack. There has reportedly been upset over the length of time it may have taken for the Federation to alert potential victims of the incident.
Is this kind of thing common?
This kind of incident can be common. A number of the individual cases and many of the dozens of group actions and multi-party actions our lawyers are involved in stem from cyber attacks.
Victims of this kind of incident may be eligible to make a claim for data breach compensation. It usually depends on whether enough steps had been taken to ensure that systems were secure prior to the attack taking place.
Some information has been released on the Federation’s twitter account with using the hashtag #PFEWCyberAttack as well. At this stage, it’s still too early to know for sure how their systems were breached and what could have been done to prevent the incidents taking place.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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First published by Matthew on March 27, 2019
Posted in the following categories: Cybersecurity Hacking News Malware Police Ransomware Security and tagged with cyber attack | cyber crime | cybersecurity | database security | police breach | police data breach | ransomware