FOI request (FOI214594)
Requested Mon 22 May 2017
Responded Mon 22 May 2017
I would like to make a Freedom of Information request relating to cyber attacks to your organisation.
By cyber attack I am referring to the unauthorised access or deliberate disruption of a computer system or a device.
Types of cyber attack could include, but are not limited to: ransomware, denial of service, phishing and spear phishing etc
By data, I am referring to any information held on your computer systems or devices.
Please could you answer the following:-
- Does your organisation keep an incident log of cyber attacks?
- How many cyber attacks - attempted and successful - were recorded against your organisation in the last three financial years, year-by-year (ie 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17)?
- Where cyber attacks were successful, what kind of data and what amount of data, if any, was lost or stolen? Was it confidential?
- For each case, please confirm:- the type of attack (eg ransomware, denial of service etc)
- What specific demand, if any, was made to resolve the attack? Did the organisation comply?
- Whether the attack was reported to police or other responsible authority? Was the attacker traced/convicted?
Please can you provide this information in Excel spreadsheet format.
Notice of Refusal Disclosure of information relating to ICT infrastructure and security constitutes a security risk as it would leave the Council's computer assets more vulnerable to a malicious hacking attack. This means that disclosure would: • Make the Council more vulnerable to crime (Section 31) • Risk harming the systems on which the day-to-day business of the Council relies (Section 43) Section 31 (Law Enforcement) Section 31(1)(a) states that information is exempt if its disclosure is likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime. ICO guidance states that this can be used to protect information on a public authority's systems which would make it more vulnerable to crime. This exemption can be used by a public authority that has no law enforcement function: • To protect the work of one that does • To withhold information that would make anyone, including the public authority itself, more vulnerable to crime The crime in question would be a malicious attack on the Council's computer systems. Since the disclosure of the withheld information would make the Council's systems more vulnerable to such crime, the exemption is engaged. The exemption is subject to the public interest test. There is an overwhelming public interest in keeping the Council's computer systems secure which would be served by non-disclosure. This outweighs the public interest in accountability and transparency that would be served by disclosure. Section 43 (Commercial Interests) Section 43(2) states that information is exempt if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it). Disclosure of information relating to ICT infrastructure and security puts the council at risk of a malicious hacking attack. This would compromise the Council's ability to provide its services and carry out 'business-as-usual' should our systems be compromised. Were our systems to be compromise, the cost of a system recovery would be detrimental to the Council's commercial interests. The exemption is subject to the public interest test. There is an overwhelming public interest in keeping the Council's computer systems secure which would be served by non-disclosure. This outweighs the public interest in accountability and transparency that would be served by disclosure.
Freedom of Information