The UK’s largest private forensic firm, which has tens of thousands of criminal cases each year, was forced to pay ransoms to hackers last month after its systems were shut down by an online attack.
Eurofins, an international group of laboratories based in Brussels that uses police throughout the UK, said at the time of the attack that its employees had taken immediate steps to mitigate the impact of the ransom attack detected in their systems.
Police have suspended all their work with Eurofins in a bid to curb the impact of the cyber attack. The sources said the immediate steps involved paying the company for the ransom, but it was not clear how much money had been paid or when. An official with the National Police Chiefs Council said: “The police priority is to minimize the impact on the criminal justice system.
The attack on Eurofins has delayed a number of court hearings and criminal investigations because of the inability to access the files held by the company. Eurofins has become a major supplier of police forces in the UK following the closure of the government’s forensic science service in 2012, and the company has seven laboratories across the UK.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) is investigating the attack, in cooperation with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCCC) and the National Center for Cyber Security (NCSC). The company described the attack at that time as highly sophisticated.
The attack is the latest of thousands of attacks around the world aimed at extorting money from governments and major corporations. For example, the Rivera Beach attack is mentioned.