Parent company of South Staffs Water and Cambridge Water target of criminal cyber-attack

South Staffordshire PLC, the parent company of South Staffs Water and Cambridge Water, has been the target of a criminal cyber-attack.

In a statement issued on the company’s website they confirmed the attack was real but it had not affected their ability to supply safe water.

South Staffordshire PLC statement:

“As you’d expect our number one priority is to continue to maintain safe public water supplies. This incident has not affected our ability to supply safe water and we can confirm we are still supplying safe water to all of our Cambridge Water and South Staffs Water customers. 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.

“We are experiencing disruption to our corporate IT network and our teams are working to resolve this as quickly as possible. It is important to stress that our customer service teams are operating as usual.

“We are working closely with the relevant government and regulatory authorities and will keep them, as well as our customers, updated as our investigations continue.”

The statement was released after a group known as Cl0p claimed to have hacked a different water company.

Thames Water confirmed in a tweet that they had not been the victim of an attack, and claimed that the reports in the media were a hoax.

@thameswater wrote on twitter:

“CYBER HOAX: We are aware of reports in the media that Thames Water is facing a cyber attack. We want to reassure you that this is not the case and we are sorry if the reports have caused distress.”

In response to this, Jamie Akhtar, CEO and co-founder of CyberSmart has offered the following comment:

“Although this attack appears to have been relatively benign, it does set a worrying precedent. We don’t know how truthful the hackers’ claims that they could ‘easily change the chemical balance of the water’ are. However, it is something a sophisticated attack could achieve, even with many water companies having robust protections in place.

“In an age where cyber warfare has become much more common, we should all be on our guard.”

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