FOI request detail

Phishing E-mails

Request ID: FOI-0270-1920
Date published: 20 May 2019

You asked

I would like to know the following under the Freedom of Information Act. • Breakdown of the number of reports of phishing email scams reported to the your organisation over the last three financial years • Additionally, if possible, could you provide some detail on the nature/categories of the reports? E.g. scam email, request for money etc. • And any information on financial losses from the public due to these incidents?

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-0270-1920

Thank you for your request received on 26 April 2019 asking for information about phishing emails.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy. We do hold the information you require.

However, in accordance with the FOI Act we are not obliged to supply this information as it is subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information under section 24 (National security) and section 31(1) (Prevention and detection of crime).

In this instance the exemptions apply as disclosure of the information you have requested would describe the success or failure of attempts by persons unknown to unlawfully access or disrupt our information networks, which are critical to the operation of London’s transport system. The London transport system is a critical piece of national infrastructure and as such we employ rigorous safeguards to protect it from cyber attack. Like other organisations we are subject to regular attempted cyber attacks. These attacks are unlawful under the Computer Misuse Act, and whilst the motive is not always apparent, we are aware of the risk to critical national infrastructure that may result from a successful attack.

We consider that releasing information about any type of attacks that may have been reported would be likely to prejudice our efforts to prevent and detect future attacks and undermine our ability to safeguard the London transport network.

The use of these exemptions is subject to an assessment of the public interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities, but in this instance we consider that there is greater public interest in safeguarding our information systems and protecting the integrity of the London transport network.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

[email protected]

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