The Police Federation of England & Wales (PFEW) has confirmed that it has been the victim of a cyber attack.
On Saturday 9th March, the PFEWs HQ IT systems were subjected to a malware attack which encrypted data from across their networks. The attack has affected a number of their databases and servers.
A spokesperson for the PFEW confirmed that they were alerted to the incident at around 19:00 hours on Saturday 9th March and that the alert was initiated via their own security systems.
As soon as they became aware of the attack, various systems were taken off-line in order to minimise the spread of the Malware.
The Federation has confirmed that they have instructed BAE Systems, a leading firm in forensic computer sciences, to assist them with their response.
The attack has been reported to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the National Crime Agency (NCA) as well as to the Information Commissioners Office.
In a statement, the Federation confirmed that the Malware attack was the type responsible for seizing and encrypting data which was held on PFEWs servers.
The Federation has also confirmed that members have been affected and that they will be contacting the individuals concerned.
During the attack, a number of databases and systems were affected as well as back-up data being deleted. Some data has also become encrypted and is thus inaccessible.
Email services were also disabled and files were inaccessible.
A spokesperson for the Federation said: ‘Indications are that [the attack] was not targetted specifically at the PFEW and was likely part of a wider campaign’.
In a statement released by the PFEW, they said that: ‘there is no evidence at this stage that any data was extracted from our systems, although this cannot be discounted at this stage’.
The Federation confirmed that a helpline will be live for officers who are concerned about their own personal data being compromised, although the Federation has pointed out that, as yet, there is no such evidence of this having taken place.
The helpline will be live from noon on Friday 22nd March until 18:00 hours and will again re-open at the weekend from 0900 to 15:00 hours and thereafter Monday to Friday 08:00 to 18:00.
The helpline will be staffed by security vetted personnel who are experienced in dealing with cyber crime.
The number to call is: 0800 358 0714
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