'Serious cyberattack' hits London council

Hackney Council says attack is affecting many of its services and IT systems.

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Hackney Council in north London says it has been the target of a serious cyberattack, which is affecting many of its services and IT systems.

The council said it is working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, external experts and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to investigate and understand the impact of the incident. It's unclear exactly what form the cyberattack has taken or when it took place.

"This investigation is at an early stage, and limited information is currently available. We will continue to provide updates as our investigation progresses," said Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney.

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He said the current focus was on continuing to deliver essential frontline services, especially to the most vulnerable residents, "and protecting data, while restoring affected services as soon as possible."

However, he said that in the meantime, some council services may be unavailable or slower than normal, and that the council's call centre was extremely busy.

"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 note on the Hackney Council website said: "Due to technical problems, you may experience difficulty accessing online services, such as One Account and payments today. We're trying to fix this ASAP." Attempts to reach the One Account log-in are met with the message: "The system you are attempting to access is undergoing scheduled maintenance and should be back soon."

An NCSC spokesperson said: "We are aware of an incident affecting Hackney Borough Council. The NCSC is supporting the organisation and working with partners to understand the impact of this incident."