BusinessCompany NewsUK plc fears malicious filing campaign at Companies House

UK plc fears malicious filing campaign at Companies House

Fake administration orders filed against four listed businesses may be just the beginning

Accountants

Fears are mounting that a campaign of fake and malicious document filing
could hit UK plc.

Fake administration orders have been filed against four listed businesses and
one of those targeted has warned that the filings were potentially a test prior
to a larger and more sustained campaign against bigger, more high profile
companies.

The fake orders use the details of real practitioners from PwC and KPMG to
add validity to the filings.

Louise George, finance director of Image Scan, one of the companies targeted,
warned that without an explicit link between the companies there was a
likelihood that the filings were a test of Companies House’s processes.

‘Are the filers testing the water for a bigger campaign?’ she asked.

George also voiced concerns that Companies house secure online filing system,
PROOF, cannot protect against malicious filings. ‘Online filing wouldn’t have
stopped what happened to us, they need some monitoring system,’ George added.

The filings can cause major problems to businesses, as credit rating agencies
pick up the filing information and pass it on to suppliers and customers. A
court order to remove a filing from Companies House costs several thousand
pounds.

Investigations into the four filings centred on whether they were being
targeted by an extremist organisation, but no explicit link between them has
been found.

Ross Warner, a director at Uranium Resources, also a victim of the fake
administration orders, criticised the process that allowed relatively easy
filing of details to Companies House, while having them removed required a court
order. He added that the company’s lawyers were asked to report the incident to
the police.

Companies House confirmed its systems could not handle online filing of
administrations, but stop gap security had been introduced.

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