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Cyber attacks

Request For Information - FOI17764

Our response

Thank you for your email of 9 May 2017, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000.

I can confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold some of the information you have requested. Where the information is not held this is stated. Taking each request in turn, I confirm the following:

1. Does your organisation keep an incident log of cyber attacks?
There is no separate log for cyber-attacks. IT incidents of all types are recorded on our IS Service Desk system, but are not categorised into different types of incident, such as cyber attacks.

2. How many cyber attacks - attempted and successful - were recorded against your organisation in the last three financial years (ie 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17)?
From our preliminary assessment, it is clear that we will not be able to answer your request.

Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 makes provision for public authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for Ordnance Survey is set at £450 (18 hours).

To provide you with the information you have requested would require a search of all IT incidents recorded on our IS Service Desk system since 1 April 2014. Our preliminary analysis demonstrates that the results obtained from an initial keyword search would return a significant number of false positives, meaning that a large number of records would need to be reviewed and assessed manually to determine whether each one related to a cyber attack. As such, we estimate that it will take us in excess of the applicable time limit to locate, retrieve and extract the information in reference to your request. Therefore, your request will not be processed further.

You may wish to refine your request by narrowing its scope, for example by being more specific about the information you request, or by asking for the information for a shorter period of time.

3. Where cyber attacks were successful, what kind and amount of data, if any, was lost or stolen? Was it confidential?
See response to question 2 above.

4. The type of attack (eg ransomware, denial of service etc.).
See response to question 2 above.

5. What demand, for example a Bitcoin payment, was made to resolve the attack? Did your organisation comply?
See response to question 2 above.

6. Whether the attack was reported to police or other responsible authority? To the best of your knowledge, was the attacker traced/convicted?
See response to question 2 above.

Internal review

Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an internal review with our FOI Internal Review Officer, by contacting them as follows:

FOI Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
Southampton
SO16 0AS

Email: foi@os.uk

Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:

  • Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days)
  • Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
  • Failed to provide the information you have requested
  • Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
  • Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception

The FOI Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance.

The FOI Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision, provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal with the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Email: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to Friday.

Thank you for your enquiry.

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