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Cyber attack

This Freedom of Information request asks for details of the total number of spam/malicious emails blocked by OS.

Request for information - Ref No: FOI20938


Thank you for your email of 2 January 2020, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, as set out in the extract below:

I would like to know the following under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) please:

  • Total number spam/malicious emails blocked by your organisation over the last 2 calendar years (2019 and 2018) broken down by year.
  • Please could you also provide a category for the malicious emails e.g. 2,300 phishing emails, 5,000 spam/junk emails, 3,400 anti-virus blocks. 

Our response

I confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold some of the information you have requested. 

We only retain a record of blocked mail for a period of 90 days therefore, we do not hold the information requested other than for the last 90 days.

For the period from 16/10/2019 to 16/01/2020 I confirm the total number of spam/malicious emails blocked by Ordnance Survey was 496,096.

This is divided into:

  • Spam: 484,538 
  • Phishing: 10,868 
  • Malware: 690

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 Internal Review Officer by contacting them, within two months of receipt of our final response to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request, as follows:

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

Contact us via our FoI form

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 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 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, within three months of receiving our response, with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Further information can be found on the ICO website ( under ‘Report a concern’ or you may wish to call the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113.