BDA targeted in ‘sophisticated’ cyber attack

31 July, 2020 / infocus
 Will Peakin  

The British Dental Association’s website was hacked yesterday, the organisation said, with visitors being greeted by a ‘server error’ page.

Today, the BDA was able to post a message on the site: “After a day spent investigating and trying to restore the site, we know this is a serious problem,” it said. “Anonymous criminals entered our systems and because of their sophistication, we don’t know the extent of what they’ve taken. We are devastated.”

Visitors to the site yesterday were greeted with a server error page.

The association said that it had contacted the Information Commissioner’s Office and was contacting people it thought may have been affected. It added: “We are rebuilding our systems.”

Read the BDA’s 14 August update on the attack here.

It is understood that the hackers possibly secured access to users’ names, contact details, transaction histories, bank details, logs of correspondence and notes of cases. The association said it does not store card details.

But it does hold members’ account numbers and sort codes in order to collect direct debit payments. It advised members to act with caution, particularly with emails or phone calls from anyone claiming to be from a bank, utilities provider or even from the BDA itself.

The BDA was able to post a message today.

The organisation subsequently updated the page with a statement: “On 30 July, we were targeted by a sophisticated cyber-attack. As a precaution, we took some of our systems offline, including our website. Thanks to extensive continuity planning, our IT team has already rebuilt our systems on a new network, removing the risk of the malware responsible for this attack.”

During the pandemic, the BDA’s website has been a source of detailed, up-to-the minute news and information, and featured regular insights from members and officials.

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