SEPA hit by “significant cyber attack”

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Scotland’s environment watchdog hit on Christmas eve.

In a statement, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) writes that it has fallen prey to significant cyber-attack affecting its contact centre and internal systems.

The agency, one of a number of organisations regulating finfish aquaculture, said that communication into and across the organisation is “significantly impacted.”

But core regulatory, monitoring, flood forecasting and warning services are continuing.

SEPA executive director David Pirie said that its systems were subject to a significant and ongoing cyber-attack at one minute past midnight on Christmas Eve.

“The attack is impacting our contact centre, internal systems, processes and internal communications,” he said.

“We immediately enacted our robust business continuity arrangements, with our core regulatory, monitoring, flood forecasting and warning services adapting and continuing to operate.

“Our Emergency Management Team is working with Scottish Government, Police Scotland and the National Cyber Security Centre to respond to what appears to be complex and sophisticated criminality.

“Whilst we continue to liaise closely with resilience partners, we’re asking for those who wish to contact us right now to do so through our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter (@ScottishEPA),” said Pirie.