CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS in the UK are being scuppered after a cyberattack knocked out one of the biggest private forensics labs in the country.
Eurofins Scientific, which carries out DNA, firearm tests, computer forensics and toxicology for UK forces was attacked in June, where a "highly sophisticated" cyberattack led to the suspension of contracts that total around 70,000 cases per year.
A temporary ban by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) has left a backlog of up to 20,000 cases which have piled up, since the attack. The ban was finally lifted three weeks ago and the great catch up is beginning, with parties hoping to bring cases up to date (more or less) within two months.
At the time of writing, the backlog has already reduced to 15,000.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Gibson of the NPCC told Auntie McBeeb:
"The security and integrity of the criminal justice system is of the highest possible priority, which meant we had to take stringent steps to ensure that police data had, firstly, not been manipulated or changed and, secondly, was suitably protected for the future."
It is understood that Eurofins Scientific which gained the contract after the closure of the UK state-owned Forensic Science Service back in 2012, was not only clobbered by the cyberattack but actually forked out the ransom to get itself back online.
At present, there's no conclusion of the case, with investigations still ongoing. Because of the sensitive nature of the case, details of how that is progressing are likely to be limited.
The news comes as we reach just five months to the end of Windows 7, which will potentially leave millions of machines vulnerable as Microsoft ends security updates. Organisations who don't feel they'll be ready for an upgrade have the option to pay for extended security updates, at a price which doubles every year.
So a bit like a sort of software ransom really. Where have we heard that before? μ
Stay alive and it'll find you
Chrome and punishment