London councils hit by ransomware attacks

Brent and Merton councils have collectively been hit by five successful ransomware attacks since 2016, according to a report by Parliament Street.

The data was obtained from a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requested by the think tank.

Merton Council was victim to three attacks during the period, while Brent Council faced two successful attacks.

The council in Merton, south London, said that they did not pay the ransom for any of the incidents. It added that only one of the attacks resulted in downtime where their systems went offline.

“This was due to the Kaseya attack on our hosted environment and resulted in 3 days of some services being disrupted whilst we restored and verified the integrity of the data,” said a spokesperson for Merton Council.

West London-based Brent Council told researchers at Parliament Street that they also didn’t pay the ransom for either of the attacks.

The council faced “minimal” downtime whilst restoring data from their backup systems.

The first incident saw a selection of council files encrypted, with the second incident, two years later, also resulting in council files being encrypted.

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