The water supply firm, which covers an area that comprises 27 percent of the UK population, has been impacted by Clop ransomware. The group has reportedly claimed it has not encrypted files but has access to a massive 5TB of data and could potentially change chemical composition of water. HackNotice, a threat intelligence provider, wrote on its website: “THAMESWATER.CO.UK allegedly hacked as reported by Clop ransomware.” Express.co.uk has contacted Thames Water for comment.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms could cause “dangerous” flooding in both cities and rural areas, but will not end the current drought sweeping throughout large parts of the UK, experts have warned.
The Met Office has issued several yellow thunderstorm warnings for most of the country today and on Tuesday, with conditions switching from glorious sunshine to flash flooding, disruption and power cuts.
This weather warning will remain in place for southern England on Wednesday, where communities could be cut off by flooded roads.
There is also the possibility of fast flowing or deep flood water could cause danger to life.
This comes following weeks of extremely dry weather and sweltering conditions that have triggered droughts across parts of the UK, leaving land parched.
On Friday, the National Drought Group – made up of senior decision makers from the Environment Agency, government, water companies and key representative groups – moved parts of the country into official drought status.
These were the South West, parts of southern and central England, and the East of England.
Thames Water has previously indicated it is planning to impose hosepipe restrictions in the coming weeks.
Welsh Water, Southern Water and South East Water have already made that move, while Yorkshire Water’s ban will start on August 26 – the same day as South West Water will introduce one for Cornwall and parts of Devon.
A Thames Water spokesman said: “The prolonged hot weather and ongoing lack of rain has meant that we are now planning to take our drought plan to the next stage which is to introduce a temporary use ban.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told the Standard: “Many Londoners will be angry that they have got to make a personal sacrifice when it appears that the water companies, who make huge profits, and pay their shareholders massive dividends, aren’t addressing at source issues around leakages of water.
“The water companies have got to sort their house out in relation to preventing water leakages and improving infrastructure and, when there is a leak, making sure it is fixed sooner rather than later.
“But we also have to reduce our use of water. It is a precious, finite resource.
“The drought combined with the hosepipe ban could be here for some time if we don’t make personal sacrifices.
“We have got to be good citizens to help us all through this difficult time.”
THIS IS A BREAKING STORY. MORE TO FOLLOW…