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Capita: Cyber-attack broke some of our IT systems

Staff regain access to Microsoft apps, tech outsourcer still working to restore services for some

Capita – everyone's favorite outsourcing badass – is still working to restore services for some customers after admitting the IT outage of certain services on Friday was caused by a cyber attack and efforts to contain the infiltration.

The shape-shifting tech outsourcing biz, which has £6.5 billion ($8 billion) worth of public sector contracts booked in, said before the weekend that a technical problem meant staff couldn't access work IT, including Microsoft cloud accounts.

Staff told us they had no access to Capita's Azure Directory or Azure Active Directory, including VPN and Microsoft 365 services. It seems outside of Capita, customers reported issues accessing 365, Office and Teams.

The cause of that blackout was confirmed today, with Capita saying via its website that on March 31 the biz "experienced a cyber incident primarily impacting access to internal Microsoft 365 applications. This caused disruption to some services provided to individual clients, though the majority of our client services remained in operation."

Capita says its security monitoring canary alerted personnel to the issue and the organization brought forth "established and practiced technical crisis management protocols."

"Immediate steps were taken to successfully isolate and contain the issue. The issue was limited to parts of the Capita network and there is no evidence of customer, supplier or colleague data having been compromised," it said.

Techies at the company worked at the weekend to restore services but normal play had not yet resumed for everyone as of this morning.

"Working in collaboration with our specialist technical partners, we have restored Capita colleague access to Microsoft Office 365 and we are making good progress restoring remaining client services in a secure and controlled manner," Capita added.

Capita didn't say how or when the miscreants gained internal entry, which parts of the business were affected, or specify the customers whose services were downed. We have asked those questions and more but it told The Register it has nothing further to add.

The company, which said in its 2022 Annual Report that it employed 52,000 people, is divided into three business units: Capita Public Services, Capita Experience, and Capita Portfolio.

Contracts under its belt include a 12-year £1 billion ($1.24 billion) contract to provide training to the Royal Navy and Marines, the management of the BBC license fee worth £456 million ($565 million) and the London congestion charge for £355 million ($440 million).

A wave of 415 contracts held by Capita said to be worth £700 million ($869 million) are due to expire between 2022 and 2025, so this security incident won't help the corporation's cause when it comes to renewal time. ®

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