Hackney Council Confirms Hack Still Causing ‘Significant Disruption’

Hackney Council in London confirms it continues to suffer from the ‘serious cyberattack’ last month that is still causing ‘significant disruption’ to services.

The council did not mention ransomware, but it did warn that some of its services will take months to recover.

The council had announced that in early October it had suffered a ‘serious cyberattack’, and now a month later the impact of the attack is still being felt.

Serious cyberattack

And now the council has provided an update to the cyberattack, and detailed which services remain unavailable.

“Council teams are working hard to recover systems and resolve the significant disruption caused by the serious cyberattack that has affected services since October,” the council said.

“The advanced, criminal attack remains under investigation by the Council, National Cyber Security Centre and National Crime Agency, in close cooperation with the Information Commissioner’s Office,” it added.

“Some services will be unavailable or operate differently for months, and the Council’s teams are doing everything possible to restore them,” it said. “Vital services, including the Council’s coronavirus response work, continue to operate, but the effects of this criminal attack are having a significant impact on many residents.”

“Wherever possible, Council teams are creating new or temporary ways to run systems differently and the Council will continue to share updates on the recovery of services through its website and regular newsletters,” it added.

And it provided an update on which services remain out of action.

Land and searches and planning applications are still impacted the council said, and “this service is unlikely to be fully available before the end of the stamp duty holiday in March 2021.”

The council also said that its ordering and reporting systems are also impact, and “disruption to normal systems used to process reports such as noise nuisance, anti-social behaviour and missed waste collections means responses and investigations may be slower than usual.”

And finally the council payment systems are still impact, with the “the online portal for paying rent, paying service charges and checking your balance is temporarily unavailable, as well as the Council’s One Account system.”

Council attacks

Local councils remain a favoured target for cybercriminals.

In February this year IT systems at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council were crippled for over three weeks, forcing staff to use to pen and paper, and which cost it at least £10m.

Prior to that in 2016, Lincolnshire County Council also had to use pen and paper after a malware attack.

Cities and local council systems in the United States have also suffered cyberattacks over the years.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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