But following the cyberattack a decision was taken by police leaders to suspend work with the firm.It is thought the suspension of services has already led to a delay in some court cases with a number of trials having to be postponed. Eurofins was hit by a cyber attack in June In the wake of the attack, security minister Ben Wallace said immediate steps had been taken to minimise the impact on the criminal justice system.He said: “The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is working to ensure all hearings remain based on reliable evidence.”If prosecutors or the police believe that there may have been an impact, they will contact the victims or witnesses involved. But if any victims are concerned, national support services are also available.”However, I want to stress that at present we have no reason to believe there has been an impact on the forensic evidence tested by EFS.”The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) refused to comment on the ransom payment but sources said “excellent progress” had been made in dealing with the fall-out of the cyber attack.Ransomware software is a virus that prevents the user from accessing their systems and can cripple an organisation.The hackers then often send a demand for payment in order to unlock the frozen systems.A spokesman for the National Cyber Security Centre spokesman said: “It is a matter for the victim whether or not to pay the ransom.”But the decision to pay the hackers could lead to concerns that the firm could be targeted in the future. A leading forensic science firm, which is used by the UK police to help investigate major crimes, has paid a ransom to criminals after being targeted in a cyber attack, it is understood.Eurofins Scientific, which is based in Belgium but has laboratories all over the world, was hit by a ransomware attack last month, which affected the firm’s IT systems.The National Crime Agency has been investigating the source of the attack, but sources claimed the company had already paid a ransom to recover its network.It is not clear how much was paid and spokesman for the firm said: “With regards to any ransom payment we can’t comment at the moment.”Eurofins, which helped catch the Babes in the Wood killer, Russell Bishop, accounts for more than half of the forensic science provision for UK forces.Its scientists handle forensic evidence relating to around 70,000 criminal cases in the UK each year, carrying out DNA testing, toxicology analysis, firearms testing and other services. The state run Forensic Science Service (FSS) was abolished in 2012 with the work being taken on by a number of private firms.However the sector has been beset with problems with an alleged data tampering scandal at Randox Testing and the collapse of Key Forensic Services.In May a House of Lords report warned that the provision of forensic science in England and Wales had reached breaking point, risking crimes going unsolved and miscarriages of justice occurring. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Forensics firm hit by cyber attack pay ransom