Residents still feeling consequences of council cyber attack more than four months on – Gloucestershire Live

residents-still-feeling-consequences-of-council-cyber-attack-more-than-four-months-on-–-gloucestershire-live

As you well know that someone could be secretly watching you or your child with your webcam right now? Is it worth taking such a risk? camDown can help stop them!

It has now been 136 days since Gloucester City Council was targeted by hackers and bosses will not say when services will be completely back to normal. People across the city are still suffering the consequences of the cyber attack which disabled most of the council’s IT services at the end of last year.

The council became aware of the issue on December 20 and the attack has been linked to hackers operating out of the former Soviet Union. The breach seriously disrupted services such as housing benefits claims, discretionary housing payments, council tax support and Covid-related services such as test and trace support payments.

And many people are still struggling to move house and are at risk of losing mortgage offers because local authority searches cannot be done. The local authority has been working with the National Crime Agency and the National Cyber Security Centre to understand more about the breach and have since had to rebuild all of their servers.

READ MORE: More homebuyers in Gloucester speak out over 'scandalous' problem stopping people from moving home

However, they have dismissed calls for an independent inquiry into the issue and will not give a date for when they believe the problems will be resolved. Opposition councillors say it is “not good enough” and Gloucester residents deserve better.

Liberal Democrat group leader Jeremy Hilton (LD, Kingsholm and Wotton) said: “It’s now 136 days since the city council suffered from a cyber attack that disabled most of its ICT systems. This has severely damaged the council’s frontline services, with officers of the council having to work manually, rather than using 21st century methods.

“Right now, the council has only managed to partially restore its ICT tools and programmes. The council’s planning software is still not up and running and it is causing problems with property searches.

“Similarly, councillors are unable to check back on old committee papers, which means previous decisions cannot be properly referenced. The slowness of the council’s response and recovery is still a matter of deep concern. The Conservative cabinet needs to redouble its efforts.”

Labour group leader Terry Pullen (L, Moreland) said they have not been told whether people’s personal data has been breached by hackers. He also said people need to know when services will be back to normal.

“The council is still recovering from the cyber attacks many months ago. Gloucester has seen some services restored. There are still problems particularly with planning and a serious inconvenience for people trying to move house.

“Council has given no indication as to what extent personal information may have been breached. It is really not good enough and the people of Gloucester deserve better. They need to know when normal services will be resumed and how much it has cost the council and taxpayers in Gloucester.”

The council was asked if it had a date for when its systems will be back to normal but they said they had no further information.

A statement on their website said: "Following a cyber incident we are experiencing some disruption to services and residents may experience delays but we are working hard to minimise the impact.

"We're doing all we can to address the issues as quickly as possible but we do ask people to be patient as we’re working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre and the National Crime Agency to understand more about the nature of this incident.

"We'll provide updates on services as soon as we are able to, however, we are focusing on managing any urgent customer issues and continue to work with the national agencies and our IT partners to bring our systems back on line as quickly as possible.

"As the situation is still being investigated it is unfortunately not possible to give a current timeframe for when we’re able resolve the issues and we are unable to share any further details as it is an active investigation.

"You can still access advice and information via our website including emergency numbers if you need to contact us. We are taking the situation extremely seriously and thank residents for their co-operation and understanding."

To sum up, now let's stop for a moment and consider that camDown is a highly advanced, specialized webcam blocker and disabler with the best in class protection from variety of on-line threats and that's the a fact!