Redcar and Cleveland cyber-attack could have ‘serious and devastating’ results

I’ve become so used to US counties and cities reporting attacks that I hardly registered this one a little closer to home (full disclosure: my wife comes from Redcar)…:

Redcar and Cleveland Council’s website has been offline for over a week following a cyber-attack, which took place at 11am on Saturday, February 8.

Ian Gemski, Founder and Director of Sedgefield-based cybersecurity firm Tekgem, said cyber-attacks can be “very serious and devastating” and that it is “normal” for them to last over a week.

The council said there no update on the situation.

When visiting the site, an error message is displayed stating it is temporarily unavailable due to being overloaded or under maintenance, urging visitors to “please try later”.

Previously, the message said access denied.

While the council believe no personal data has been breached, its disaster recovery systems have come under fire in calls for an “urgent review”.

Redcar and Cleveland Council updated residents via Facebook: “As you will be aware, we are experiencing issues with our IT systems. We are still able to receive and answer limited calls and emails and we will be prioritising urgent messages.

“There may be a slight delay in dealing with non-urgent calls and messages, and the council’s website is currently down.”

The nature of the attack is still unknown but the National Crime Agency is assisting the council.

National Crime Agency spokesperson said: “The National Crime Agency is leading the criminal investigation into a recent cyber incident that is affecting Redcar & Cleveland Council.

“As our investigation is in its early stages we are unable to comment further at this time.”

Mr Gemski said it’s “normal” for attacks to last over a week as malware can spread quickly across different computer networks, resulting in multiple problems that must be resolved.

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Original article here