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Data breach as Hackney Council hit by ‘serious cyber attack’

Written by on 13 October 2020

Hackney Council has reported a data breach after being hit by a “serious cyber attack” on Tuesday morning which is affecting many of its services and IT systems.

The council says it is working with the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Ministry of Housing to investigate and understand the impact of the incident.

It is not yet clear what type of cyber attack has hit the council, however a spokesperson from the Information Commissioner’s Office confirmed to Sky News that it had received a report of a data breach as a result.

In a statement on the council’s public-facing website, which is still up and running, Mayor Philip Glanville said: “Our focus is on continuing to deliver essential frontline services, especially to our most vulnerable residents, and protecting data, while restoring affected services as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, some council services may be unavailable or slower than normal, and our call centre is extremely busy,” he added.

“We ask that residents and businesses only contact us if absolutely necessary, and to bear with us while we seek to resolve these issues.”

A spokesperson for the ICO told Sky News: “People should be able to expect that their personal information is handled securely by any organisation. When it isn’t this can cause real distress – especially if it is sensitive information.

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“We have received a data breach report from the London Borough of Hackney and will be making enquiries.

“If anyone is concerned about their personal information they should contact the council first, if they are not satisfied, they can bring their concerns to us,” the spokesperson added.

The impact of the incident is still not completely clear. Sky News understands that the G Suite services the council use are still working, and staff calling the council’s IT support hotline are being instructed to follow the guidance and information in their inboxes.

A spokesperson for NCSC confirmed that it was “aware of an incident affecting Hackney Borough Council” and said the agency was “supporting the organisation and working with partners to understand the impact of this incident.”


If you would like to contact Alexander Martin, you can reach him securely using the private messaging app Signal on +44 (0)7970 376 704 or at aj.martin@sky.uk