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Fishing businesses struggling in wake of cyber-attack on Scottish Environment Protection Agency

February 16, 2021

Many fishing businesses in the Tayside region of Scotland have struggled to operate at full efficiency following a recent cyber-attack on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), reports The Courier.

SEPA – who were hit by the malicious attack on December 24 2020 – confirmed that they lost 1.2 GB of data and were forced to shut down a variety of services – this has left fishing businesses across the region unable to request work permits for the river Tay and receive advanced notice of flood risks and water level changes.

Claire Mercer Nairn of Meikleour Fishing, remarked: “We’ve put in several applications to get permission to do some work which would be good to get done during lockdown.

“But it’s very difficult to get anything from SEPA at the moment. For licences it has started to be a problem and I’m worried about the water levels.”

“Hideous crime”

A SEPA spokesperson added: “The subject of a sophisticated and complex ransomware attack, SEPA is working with the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and the National Cyber Security Centre.

“We’re clear that we won’t use public funds to pay likely international serious and organised criminals. The impact on our organisation, systems and services has been significant and recovery will take time.

“We’ve prioritised regulatory, monitoring, flood forecasting and warning services and we recognise and apologise for the impact on some service users as we build these services back.

“Our teams are working as quickly as possible to restore wider services, including public access to river level data, and we’ll continue to provide weekly updates on the status of our services at”

They added: “While we have already achieved a lot in the first month, it is likely to take many months to fully recover our capacity to do all of our work. We are not the first organisation and, unfortunately, we won’t be the last to be hit by a major cyberattack.

“This hideous crime is becoming more commonplace.”

Read the full article here:

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