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Police federation hit by cyber attack

PUBLISHED: 20:34 21 March 2019 | UPDATED: 07:22 22 March 2019

Andy Symonds, chairman of Norfolk Police Federation. Picture Andy Symonds

Andy Symonds, chairman of Norfolk Police Federation. Picture Andy Symonds

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Norfolk police may have been caught up in a cyber attack.

The Police Federation of England And Wales (PFEW) confirmed on Thursday it had suffered a malware attack on March 9.

And Norfolk Police Federation chairman Andy Symonds said he was working to make contact with “the small number of officers potentially at risk”.

A PFEW statement said: “The PFEW was able to respond quickly to an alert from it’s cyber-security systems, with cyber experts rapidly reacting to isolate the malware to stop it from spreading to PFEW branches.”

The statement said the inicdent was reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office and the National Crime Agency, which is now leading a criminal investigation into the attack.

But that is was not believed the PFEW was targeted specifically.

The statement said it was “more likely to have been part of a wider campaign”.

It added: “There is no evidence at this stage that any data was extracted from the organisation’s systems, although this cannot be discounted and PFEW are taking precautions to notify individuals who may potentially be affected.”

Mr Symonds said all officers will be emailed on Friday.

PFEW national chairman John Apter said: “We are deeply sorry that this has happened.

“The Police Federation takes data security very seriously and responded immediately on becoming alerted to this incident.

“Our priority has been to mitigate the damage caused by the attack and to protect the personal data of our members and others whose data we hold.

“We remain committed to representing police officers and ensuring they are supported.

“We have set up a dedicated webpage to help officers and other individuals with any questions they may have and have directed them to where they can find guidance on the risks associated with this type of incident.”

He also said a helpline would be available from noon on Friday.

The helpline number is 0800 358 0714 and the dedicated webpage can be found at advice.polfed.org

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