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Hackney Council in London struck by ‘serious cyber attack’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Hackney Council's services appear to have been severely disrupted by this morning's cyber attack

Hackney Borough Council (in London) has complained of a “serious cyber attack” on Tuesday (October 13) which it claims has adversely affected “many” of its services and IT systems.

Appearing to confirm the cyber attack, a spokesperson for the Information Commissioner’s Office confirmed to Sky News that it is in receipt of a “data breach” at Hackney Council.

For its part, Hackney Council says it is working with the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC – which is an extension of the intelligence agency GCHQ) and the Ministry of Housing to “investigate and understand” the full impact of the cyber attack.

In a statement on Hackney Council’s website, Hackney 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”.   

While the source of the cyber attack is not clear at present, the incident occurs at a time of heightened cyber-related tensions within British government and military circles.

Only last month the commander of Strategic Command, General Sir Patrick Sanders, claimed that British military assets are under “constant attack” in cyber space, with 60 attacks registered daily, 10 of which can be attributed to “hostile state actors”.

More significantly, Sanders claimed the UK had developed specialized “cyber weapons” to “degrade, disrupt and even destroy” the critical infrastructure and capabilities of nation-states opposed to UK foreign policy.

If it is later proven that Hackney Council has been targeted by foreign states or even non-state actors, speculation will abound that perhaps it is retaliation for a British cyber attack on another state’s “critical infrastructure”.

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