Police Federation of England and Wales Suffers Apparent Ransomware Attack

National Cyber Security Centre and National Crime Agency investigate random attack that locked down the association’s data and deleted backups.

An apparent ransomware attack hit databases and other systems earlier this week at the headquarters of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), a law enforcement association that represents some 119,000 police officers across the two nations.

The PFEW publicly announced the March 9 attack today, noting that thus far it appears no data was stolen by the attackers and that it had alerted authorities on March 10. “The malware is a type of malicious software which seizes and encrypts data,” the organization said in a tweet. 

“A number of databases and systems were affected. Back up data has been deleted and data has been encrypted and became inaccessible. Email services were disabled and files were inaccessible,” the PFEW said in an online statement about the attack.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is currently investigating the attack, along with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and BAE Systems.

“We’ve been working with experts from BAE Systems’ Cyber Incident Response division to analyse & assess the scale of impact Initial indications are that the attack was not targeted specifically to us & was more likely to have been part of a wider campaign,” the PFEW tweeted today. 

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