Cyber-attack Floors British Payroll Firm

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A "sophisticated" cyber-attack has forced a British payroll company to shut down its entire network, leaving some contractors without pay. 

Giant Group confirmed on September 24 that it had taken its network and its fully integrated IT infrastructure, phone, and email systems offline last Wednesday after detecting suspicious activity. 

In a statement published on its website September 27, the company said: "We can confirm that Giant Group was the victim of a sophisticated cyber-attack on September 22. International law firm Crowell & Moring immediately put in place a team of experts in the US, UK and Brussels who have been carrying out necessary steps as part of the ongoing investigation. 

"Together, we continue to work with our insurers, the ICO and the NCA on the investigation, alongside a number of other specialist advisers and have been sharing updates as soon as we are advised that it is safe to do so."

The attack did not affect Giant Screening, and the company said that its precision portals and Giant Finance+ services were now operational. 

However, the cyber-attack prevented an unspecified number of people from receiving their pay when the UK is suffering from a panic buying–induced fuel shortage and a dearth of HGV drivers and food caused by Brexit.

"Although we had no portals to operate from, we managed to pay over 8,000 workers last week," stated Giant Group. 

"We appreciate that not everyone would have received their expected payment and for that we are sincerely sorry. We are aiming to be able to process your payroll and pay you by Friday."

The company hasn't stated whether any sensitive information was accessed by the threat actor(s) behind the attack but did confirm that "our databases are encrypted."

Announcements Giant Group made concerning the incident on Twitter have been greeted with angry comments.

On September 25, @tiggy_ayoub tweeted: "Upset is hardly the word for what you are doing to us, Giant Group. No update today, no pay in my account, no food in my kitchen and no fuel in my car.  Thanks to you, unable to go to work next week. Wow."

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