Thousands of Abuse Victims Data Stolen

Cyber Security, Newsletter

The data of hundreds of sexual abuse victims has been compromised in a ransomware attack that targeted a company managing information for approximately 140 charities and non-profit organisations across Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the UK. It is believed that highly sensitive and personal data of around 1,000 survivors has been stolen, with the total number of affected individuals, including alleged perpetrators and others, estimated to be around 2,000. Unfortunately, as a result, fraudsters may now attempt to contact these organisations and individuals to extort money using the stolen data, presenting further risks for already vulnerable individuals.

Derry-based Evide, the targeted company, took immediate action upon becoming aware of the breach, contacting the police and enlisting the help of cyber security specialists to contain the issue and support recovery and remediation efforts. The stolen material, described as “highly sensitive and personal information”, has not yet been published on the dark web or other online forums. Among the affected organisations are four based in Dublin and southern Ireland, including One in Four, a charity supporting adults who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Maeve Lewis, the CEO of One in Four, believes over 1,000 people who sought help from the charity have been affected, with around 500 people having been contacted so far. A helpline for victims has also been established in order for them to get in touch about the data breach.

People are urged to be vigilant with regard to unusual emails or text messages, as the stolen data, including email addresses and phone numbers, is considered valuable for fraudulent and extortionist activities. Those who have not yet been contacted can access support and information on One in Four’s website. The attack, which is believed to have affected around 2,000 victims, survivors, and also suspected perpetrators in Ireland, as well as other organisations and individuals in Northern Ireland and the UK, is being investigated by specialist detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Cyber Crime Investigation team. Evide has also engaged local cyber security experts, they also notified all relevant stakeholders, including the police, as soon as the issue was identified.

At One2Call we help charities throughout the area with a wide range of services, including; Telecoms, Connectivity, IT Support, and most importantly Cyber Security. Many of the Charities we support manage sensitive information for hundreds or thousands of individuals, and it is important that that information is kept secure and protected from attack. Though our Endpoint Detection & Response service we can protect against attack, our Active Email Threat Protection service protects against targeted phishing & social engineering attacks, we ensure data is securely backed up and encrypted, and we add extra authentication steps for users to ensure that only the authorised users have access to their systems and data. If you want to find out how we can help your business secure yourself against this type of attack, reach out to us to find out more.

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