Northern Ireland charities targeted in major cyber-attack
A number of Northern Ireland charities are among organisations targeted in a major cyber-attack on a Derry-based data management company.
The attack, which was discovered at the end of March, targeted Derry IT firm, Evide which manages data for approximately 140 organisations in Ireland and Britain, including groups which work with victims of sexual crime.
Police confirmed the cyber-crime was reported on March 30. A spokesman said that investigations were continuing and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.
The spokesman said: “The matter was referred to specialist detectives in the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s cyber-crime investigation team.”
It is understood hackers demanded a ransom for what has been described as “highly sensitive and personal information” but none has been paid. The stolen material has not been published on online forums or on the internet’s “darknet”.
Based at Bay Road in Derry, Evide manages the data of charities and non-profit organisations. A spokesperson for the company said the cyber-attack was discovered when Evide became aware of unusual traffic on its network.
In a statement to RTE, the company said: “As soon as we became aware that a third party had accessed our systems we immediately contacted the PSNI and engaged the services of experienced cyber-security specialists to assist us to contain the issue, support recovery efforts and conduct a thorough investigation.”
Belfast charity, Orchardvill was one of the Evide clients targeted in the cyber-attack. The organisation told users that it was not yet known how much data, if any, was taken by the hackers. A number of other Northern Ireland clients contacted by The Irish News declined to comment.
Dublin charity, One in Four, which helps adult victims of child sex abuse, said it has already contacted approximately 500 people who use its services. Chief executive Maeve Lewis told RTE the stolen data could be used by criminals to try to commit fraud. Three other organisations which deal with victims of rape and sexual abuse were also targeted.