Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, in the north-east of England, have had their online public services down for over a week following a cyber-attack.
According to reports, on February 8, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council had its IT systems targeted, resulting in its online services being shut down for more than a week and impacting 135,000 locals.
Since the attack, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has been on site, whilst the National Crime Agency is supporting the council in probing the cyber-attack.
The council has not confirmed whether it was a ransomware attack, however it has all the hallmarks of one.
In an update, the council took to Twitter stating: “We are still experiencing issues with our IT systems, which means we are working with a reduced capacity. We are able to receive and answer limited calls and emails and we will be prioritising urgent messages.”
Online appointment bookings, planning documents, council housing complaints and social care advice are some of the systems currently offline. However, the website for council tax payments is still open.
Council leader Mary Lanigan told the BBC that a team, including cyber security experts, have been working around the clock to get the systems rebuilt.
“They have to go through [IT systems] bit by bit to make sure everything is clean. A lot of our staff are not able to work without computers but they are coping quite well here. The main problem is that we have no email systems, so we have extra phone lines for residents.”
Carl Wean, Mimecast head of e-crime, told Infosecurity Magazine that ransomware “should be considered a key threat across all regions, not just in the UK, as criminals seeks to exploit the perceived success of this firm of cyber-attack before significant regulatory and industry-based resilience measures render this attack more difficult to carry out.”
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