Southern Water [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8], a prominent British utility company responsible for water supply and sewage treatment in southern England [8], recently experienced a data breach. This breach involved a ransomware group infiltrating their network, although no data was encrypted and critical operations were not disrupted [7]. The extent of any stolen customer or employee data is still being determined [7].


Southern Water detected suspicious activity prior to the attack and launched an investigation. The Black Basta ransomware group claimed responsibility for the breach [6] [7], stating that they had stolen 750 gigabytes of data [6] [7], including corporate and personal documents [7]. They have published a sample of the stolen data on their dark web leak site [7]. However, there is currently no evidence of any impact on customer relationships or financial systems [2] [6] [7], and Southern Water’s services are operating normally [6].

Southern Water has promised to notify all data breach victims in accordance with GDPR regulations [7]. They have also flagged the issue to the UK government and regulators and will notify customers and employees if their data has been stolen. This incident serves as a reminder of the challenges organizations face in protecting sensitive data from ransomware attacks [1]. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre warns that the development of artificial intelligence will increase the volume of ransomware attacks [4].

Experts have linked the Black Basta ransomware group to the disbanded hacker group Conti, known for their expertise in extortion and blackmail. Black Basta has earned over $107 million in bitcoins from breaching numerous organizations worldwide [8]. The Garantex cryptocurrency exchange is the primary channel for laundering the stolen funds [8]. This incident marks Black Basta’s first high-profile attack in 2024 [8], utilizing a modified version of the malicious software [8].


Southern Water now faces the decision of whether to comply with the extortionists’ demands or find an alternative solution [8]. The outcome of this incident will demonstrate the effectiveness of Black Basta’s enhanced tools [8]. It is crucial for organizations to remain vigilant and implement robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive data from ransomware attacks. The increasing use of artificial intelligence by hackers poses a growing threat, and it is essential for companies to stay ahead of these evolving tactics.