DAA Daily

Scottish mental health charity suffers a cyber attack

According to a Scottish mental health organization, it was the target of a “sophisticated and criminal” cyber attack.

Police are looking into the incident, which has disrupted emails and phone lines at the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

The incident devastated the charity’s personnel, according to Billy Watson, its chief executive. He stated that they were attempting to maintain support services operational.

“It’s difficult to comprehend why someone would purposefully try to impair the operation of an organization on which people rely when they’re at their most vulnerable,” Mr. Watson added.

“Our first objective is to keep doing everything we can to provide our critical services.”

SAMH works with adults and children throughout Scotland, providing mental health assistance in settings such as primary care, schools, and higher education.

According to police, the attack on the Glasgow-based charity occurred last Thursday.

“Inquiries are ongoing, and we are assisting people affected,” a spokesman said.

SAMH issued a statement on its website on Friday, stating that it was dealing with an event that was interfering with its employees’ capacity to receive and react to emails.

It went on to say that some of its national phone lines had also been impacted.

On Monday, the cyber assault was verified in a second statement on its website.

“We are working closely with numerous organizations, including Police Scotland – this is a live inquiry,” Mr Watson added.

“We will continue to seek the greatest professional counsel to help us deal with this problem successfully.”

The organization stated that local services could still be reached by phone and that it continued to assist individuals throughout Scotland.

It comes just over a year after Scotland’s environmental authority, Sepa, was hacked on Christmas Eve 2020.

More than 4,000 digital files were taken in the attack, which was later described as exhibiting “considerable stealth and malevolent skill.”

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