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Three Kent councils hit by cyber attacks


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Cyber criminal surrounded by computers
Image source: Olena

Three local authorities in Kent have been affected by cyber incidents causing disruption to services.

Canterbury City Council and Dover and Thanet District Councils have reported that some digital systems have been out of action.

Canterbury and Dover issued a joint statement acknowledging the incident and saying they are  working with the National Cyber Security Centre in an effort to remedy the situation.

“Our teams are taking a precautionary approach while we work hard to investigate the problem and to minimise any disruption to our services,” they said.

“Our email system and website have been available throughout although some parts of the website may not quite work as intended.

“Our initial investigations do not suggest customer data has been accessed, but as is best practice in these situations we are currently engaging an National Cyber Security Centre approved contractor to examine our systems to provide that assurity.”

Disruption to systems

Thanet has placed a statement on its website that has been experiencing difficulties with its online forms and planning applications, and has been working to resolve the issue.

A Thanet District Council spokesperson told Kent Online: “Thanet District Council is currently limiting access to a number of its online systems. This is a proactive decision following reports of a potential security incident.

“While we investigate, this precaution may affect some of our online services. We are also working closely with the experts at the National Cyber Security Centre.”

The reports reflect a trend that has seen a series of cyber attacks on public sector organisations, including local authorities, over the past three years. In August of this year St Helens Council was hit, and later, as reported by the BBC, said that some data had been stolen.

Hackney Council took over two years to recover from an incident in 2020 and Gloucester City Council suffered significant disruption from an attack in 2021.


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