South Yorkshire Housing Association 'cyber-incident' probe enters third week

Thousands of stakeholders are still being warned to ‘take precautions’ as an investigation into a major cyber-incident at a Sheffield-based housing organisation continues.

Monday, 8th November 2021, 8:35 pm

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Housing Association said: “Our investigation is still ongoing. In the interests of transparency, we chose to notify all our stakeholders for whom we hold data, on a voluntary, precautionary basis so that they could take precautions while we investigated the matter further.

“We have safely recovered our systems.”

Last month, the association hired cyber-security specialists to ‘restore systems and investigate’ after ‘operational disruption owing to a cyber-incident which impacted our IT network’.

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South Yorkshire Housing Association, based on Rockingham Street in Sheffield, has experienced a cyber incident.

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It says there is no evidence personal data has been impacted.

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CONTACTED?

SYHA, based on Rockingham Street in Sheffield city centre, has nearly 6,000 homes, more than 600 staff and a private sector estate agency, Crucible Homes.

Group chief executive Tony Stacey emailed tenants, former tenants, next-of-kin and ‘similar cases for whom we still hold data for regulatory purposes’.

In an October email, he states: “We understand people may be concerned about their personal data. The investigation is at an early stage, so we are not yet able to confirm whether any of the data held on our systems was impacted but at present no evidence has been identified to suggest it has been impacted. However, it is important to note that the investigation is ongoing and it is possible this will change.”

He adds: “Due to their technical nature these investigations can take some time to complete, but we wanted to inform of this incident so that you can take precautions while the investigation continues. As we outlined in the previous letter, we recommend that you follow Action Fraud’s advice.”

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO FIX?

Mr Stacey said he expected final steps for recovery will be completed ‘soon’.

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Housing Association said: “South Yorkshire Housing Association has recently faced some operational disruption owing to a cyber-incident which impacted our IT network.

“Since we became aware of the incident we’ve been working hard, alongside external cyber security specialists, to safely restore our systems and investigate this matter.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused for our customers, employees and partners.”

The organisation has stopped responding individually to emails or calls about the incident and has set up an dedicated email inbox: [email protected]

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