Leicester City Council confidential documents published online by 'known ransomware group'

  • Mark Gough reports on the impact of the cyber attack at Leicester City council

Leicester City Council has revealed that confidential council documents have been published online, following a cyber attack last month, and that it's possible more may also have been accessed.

Richard Sword, Leicester City Council's strategic director of city developments and neighbourhoods said in a statement,

“We have today been made aware that a small number of documents held on our servers have been published by a known ransomware group.

“This group is known to have attacked a number of government, education and healthcare organisations.

“This relates to the cyber incident identified by the council on 7 March, which led to us closing down our IT systems.

The confidential documents are thought to include rent statements, applications to purchase council housing and identification documents such as passport information.

The council says the publication of the data is a criminal act and the organisation is in the process of trying to contact all of those affected as well as notifying the Information Commissioner.

“We realise this will cause anxiety for those affected, and want to apologise for any distress caused.

“At this stage we are not able to say with certainty whether other documents have been extracted from our systems, however we believe it is very possible that they have.

“We are continuing to work with the cyber crime team at Leicestershire Police and the National Cyber Security Centre as part of this ongoing criminal investigation.

“As this is a live investigation we are not able to comment in further detail, but will continue to give updates when we have news to share.”

Most of the council’s systems and phone lines are now back operating as normal after the council shut them down on 7 March.

The council is encouraging its staff and the public to be on their guard for any attempt to access their systems or approaches from anyone claiming to be in possession of data relating to them.

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