Capita logo, moshed

Capita, company providing UK’s nuclear submarine training, confirms ‘cyber incident’

Capita, the United Kingdom’s largest outsourcing company, confirmed Monday that an IT outage which left staff locked out of their accounts on Friday was caused by “a cyber incident.”

Staff attempting to login were erroneously told their usual passwords were “incorrect” according to reports, fueling speculation that a cyberattack was to blame, although not all of Capita’s 61,000 employees were affected.

At the time, a Capita spokesperson said the company was investigating “a technical issue.”

In an update on Monday about the incident sent to the Regulatory News Service, the company confirmed it “experienced a cyber incident primarily impacting access to internal Microsoft Office 365 applications.”

The nature of the incident has not been disclosed. While financially motivated ransomware attacks remain a prevalent threat for organizations in Britain, Capita also provides services to the British government that may be of interest to state-sponsored espionage groups.

Capita’s numerous contracts include several with the Ministry of Defence. Last year, a consortium it leads took control over engineering and maintenance support of training simulators for the Royal Navy’s nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines used as part of the U.K.’s nuclear deterrent.

In its statement, Capita said: “Immediate steps were taken to successfully isolate and contain the issue,” which was “limited to parts of the Capita network.”

The company acknowledged that some services provided to clients were disrupted, although it did not specify which. It said it had restored access to Microsoft Office 365 and was “making good progress restoring remaining client services in a secure and controlled manner.”

In its statement, Capita said there was “no evidence of customer, supplier or colleague data having been compromised,” although it did not make clear whether its investigation was ongoing.

The company’s share price has dropped 3% from its value since Friday, before the “technical issue” was disclosed.

In its full year results published last month, Capita reported £2.8 billion ($3.45 billion) in total revenue. Its public service division brought in £1.4 billion ($1.7 billion) of that.

The company said: “We will update the market further, should there be a need to provide any additional information, in due course.”

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Alexander Martin

Alexander Martin

is the UK Editor for Recorded Future News. He was previously a technology reporter for Sky News and is also a fellow at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative.