Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council says '90%' of IT systems running again after cyber attack

The cyber attack in February rendered the council's website completely inoperable Credit: PA Images

Redcar and Cleveland Council has said that 90% of its IT systems are back up and running after a ransomware attack in February.

The February attack rendered the council's website completely inoperable, disrupting thousands of residents.

Some council officials were forced to use pen and paper to keep services running.

The authority has now said all of its major systems have been restored from back-ups by IT teams despite the effect of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A council spokesman said: "The council's IT engineers have prioritised systems based on service need and have been successful in restoring data in 90% of the systems to allow all the council's front-line services to the public to continue as normal.

"The council's website has also been rebuilt.

"Work will continue to restore a small number of other systems which have not yet been restored but are having little or no impact on external services."

A criminal investigation is still ongoing into who was behind the ransomware attack. The National Crime Agency is leading the investigation.

Officials said the attack had not impacted the council's ability to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and provide essential services.

The spokesman added: "Our IT team also responded quickly to ensure that remote working facilities were available for several hundred staff who were deployed to work from home at short notice because of the Covid-19 requirements."

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that no ransom money has been paid to the hackers.

Requests for councils to reveal exactly how many attacks they've suffered - or the type of attack they've faced - have been declined in the past over fears revealing them would put systems at risk.

Experts at the council said cyber attacks were becoming "more and more sophisticated".