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UK Shipping Firm Clarkson Falls Victim to Cyber Attack

British shipping services provider Clarkson Plc on Wednesday said it was the victim of a cyber security hack and warned that the person or persons behind the attack may release some data shortly.

The company’s disclosure, while a relatively rare event in Britain, follows a series of high-profile hacks in corporate America.

Clarksons confirmed the attack in a statement to the London Stock Exchange . It claims that the attacker stole some of the company's more sensitive data and threatened to release it unless the company paid a ransom. 

The company, though, has chosen not to pay up, and has warned shareholders and customers accordingly.

“As soon as it was discovered, Clarksons took immediate steps to respond to and manage the incident. Our initial investigations have shown the unauthorized access was gained via a single and isolated user account which has now been disabled,” the statement reads.

“We have also put in place additional security measures to best prevent a similar incident happening in the future. Clarksons would like to reassure clients and shareholders that this incident has not, and does not, affect its ability to do business.”

Furthermore, amid fears that the accessed data may be released, the company said that it has been working with the police in relation to this incident.

“In addition, the data at issue is confidential and lawyers are on standby wherever needed to take all necessary steps to preserve the confidentiality of the information,” Clarksons further pointed out.

Clarksons added that was in the process of contacting potentially affected clients and individuals directly.

Since the incident, Clarksons has been working with data security specialists to investigate further and has notified the relevant regulatory bodies. In addition, the company said that it was working on a review of cyber security that began earlier this year and was accelerating the roll-out of various additional IT security measures.

“Issues of cyber security are at the forefront of many business agendas in today’s digital and commercial landscape and, despite our extensive efforts we have suffered this criminal attack. As you would rightly expect, we’re working closely with specialist police teams and data security experts to do all we can to best understand the incident and what we can do to protect our clients now and in the future. We hope that, in time, we can share the lessons learned with our clients to help stop them from becoming victims themselves. In the meantime, I hope our clients understand that we would not be held to ransom by criminals, and I would like to sincerely apologize for any concern this incident may have understandably raised,” Andi Case, CEO of Clarksons, said.

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