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Hackney Council hit by cyber attack

13/10/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

Hackney Council has been hit by a cyber attack that affected many of its services and IT systems.

Hackney Town Hall

It has released a statement saying that council officers have been working with the National Cyber Security Centre, external experts and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to investigate and understand the impact of the incident.

The council’s mayor, Philip Glanville, said the investigation is at an early stage.

“Our focus is on continuing to deliver essential frontline services, especially to our most vulnerable residents, and protecting data, while restoring affected services as soon as possible,” he said.

“In the meantime, some council services may be unavailable or slower than normal, and our call centre is extremely busy. We ask that residents and businesses only contact us if absolutely necessary, and to bear with us while we seek to resolve these issues.”

Update

A further statement from the council on 14 October said: "We have reported this incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office. We understand that residents will be anxious about the risk to their data, and we are working closely with the ICO, police agencies and other experts. We are committed to sharing further information about this as soon as we can, including what, if any, actions residents may need to take.

"We know that residents may be concerned and will have questions. We are learning more about the attack but are choosing not to share any more information at this stage in order to make sure we do not inadvertently assist the attackers. We want to share as much information with residents as possible, and as soon as we are able to safely do so we will.

"The attack is continuing to have a significant impact on council services and we ask residents to not contact us unless absolutely necessary."

Update: On 16 October the council revealed that key services affected include incoming and outgoing payments - with the exception of direct debits - licence application processing and reporting noise complaints. It also warned that non-emergency housing repairs are likely to take longer than usual.

Image: Hackney Town Hall by Tarquin Binary, CC BY-SA 2.5 through Wikimedia Commons

Further info added on 19 October

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