A local authority in northeastern England has suffered a major ransomware attack, leaving online public services unavailable for over 135,000 residents for over a week.
As of now, the website for Redcar Cleveland Borough Council is still down. An update was published on Monday February 17, stating we are experiencing issues with our IT systems and are still able to receive and answer limited calls and emails. The company is currently having to prioritize messages based on urgency.
Reports claim that the council's IT systems were hit on Saturday, February 8th at 11 am. Experts with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have been drafted to help.
The council refuses to publicly specify whether the incident was a ransomware attack, but the attack has all the key indicators of one.
Staff at Redcar currently do not have email systems, so extra phone lines have been set up to accommodate residents by systems are being rebuilt.
Tax payments are unaffected by this attack, but online bookings for appointments, social care systems, council housing complaints and other services have been taken offline.
The company addressed a resident in a tweet who expressed concerns over data loss, but the council claims that "as it stands, we have no evidence so far of any data being lost."
Ransomware continues to be the favored method of attack for cybercriminals because organizations have failed to address critical security shortcomings. Organizations across the globe are vulnerable to these attacks because they've failed to take the necessary security actions to prevent them.
NNT suggests hardening your environment to prevent malware activity where possible, adopting network segmentation and segregation, and to develop a comprehensive risk management plan.
>> Learn more about Ransomware in our whitepaper Ransomware - The Great White Shark of Malware and What You Need to do to About it