The facilities company, ISS World, has been hit by a cyber-attack. ISS provides cleaning, catering, security and other services to companies in the UK and elsewhere, and has half a million employees worldwide. Its websites have been down since the 17th of February, with 43,000 staff at London’s Canary Wharf and its Weybridge HQ in Surrey with still no email. ISS said it was a malware attack, but declined to specify further. The company said that many of its global employees do not use its computers in their daily work – but the impact is affecting the whole company. ISS said it had disabled access to its IT services as a precautionary measure when it noticed the attack, isolating the incident.

Ransomware has become the biggest challenge in cyber-security. The frequency of attacks makes it impossible to report on every incident. Hackers are now ignoring the individual victims at home and are now concentrating their resources and time on bigger targets for bigger rewards. Ransom payments are rising, with some hacker gangs successfully extorting millions from victims. The issue is a big concern for law enforcement agencies such as Europol and the FBI, which are constantly urging people not to pay hackers as it fuels the industry. (20th February)