Cyber attacks the Scottish Government suffered: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Could you please tell how many cyber attacks the Scottish Government suffered each year by year in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018?

Furthermore could you tell me how many of these were successful?


The answer to your question is; in common with other large organisations, the Scottish Government faces a continual and evolving threat of cyber-attacks, and we take our cyber security very seriously.

Scottish Government networks, systems and websites are constantly monitored and any identified attack is automatically assessed and prioritised based on its threat profile, and deal with accordingly. The number and category of cyber-attacks are set out below. It is not always possible to identify and record unsuccessful incidents that could be defined as attacks.

2014/15 - No successful cyber attacks were recorded in this year.

2015/16 - The website of the Scottish Agricultural Scientific Agency (SASA) was compromised in July 2015, and altered to feature links to advertising malware. The website was taken offline for a period of time before being reinstated. A Facebook page for About Scotland was compromised in February 2016 and altered to post updates containing links to potentially malicious websites. The posts were deleted and login credentials for the page were changed.

2016/17 - National Records of Scotland closed its on-site ScotlandsPeople family history service on 23 March 2016 following identification of ransomware which was quickly contained. Following security checks and testing, the service reopened to the public on 4 April.
On 13 September 2016, the Student Awards Agency Scotland suffered a ransomware attack which disrupted the processing of claims. The incident and services were restored within 24 hours.

2017/18 - No successful cyber attacks were recorded in this year.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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