15TH JUNE 2020, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A Redcar based charity which supports children, young people and their families has been targeted by a ransomware attack. On Friday the 12th of June staff at The Junction identified that their IT systems had been compromised by hackers.
Chief Executive Beth Major, supported by Jamie Noble Deputy Chief Executive, immediately implemented disaster recovery procedures. With support from Microsoft, they were able to repel the attack and expel hackers from their systems.
“At a time when most of society is coming together to start the recovery from a global pandemic there are criminals out there trying to exploit charities and business for financial gain, even charities who are supporting people most in need.” says Noble.
“Once we were aware of the attack, we acted quickly to ensure our data and the personal data of the people we support was protected and secure. Having protective systems in place and acting quickly ensured no data was accessed by the hackers.”
While no personal information has been accessed, hackers left a trail of destruction which will take several weeks to fully recover from. During this time, the charity will not be able to provide the same capacity of support to children, young people and families as normal.
Over the last 16 months, The Junction has been working with information security consultant Anne Wright of AWTBS to help them be prepared for security certification ISO27001. An internationally recognised quality mark.
Wright commented “throughout The Junction’s ISO journey I’ve been impressed by the way everyone in the organisation takes information security seriously. The Junction passed their Stage 1certification audit with BSI with flying colours showing that they have systems in place to deal with this type of incident. I look forward to supporting them through the next stage of certification later in the year”.
The management team at The Junction wanted to reassure everyone that their information is safe and secure.
Major added “I want to reassure the children, young people and families we support that we have kept your information secure. If in meantime you are in need of our services, we remain available and you can contact us on 01642 756000. We don’t believe that any data left our systems or that information was accessed and I want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to get your support back in place as quickly and safely as we can.”
“Lessons will be learnt from this attack which will further enhance our cyber security plans and I would encourage others to stay vigilant.”
Although no data was accessed The Junction have reported the incident to the National Crime Agency who will investigate the incident.