Cybersecurity Experts Reacted On Hackney Council Cyber Attack

Media outlets are reporting that Hackney Council in London has been the target of a serious cyberattack, which is affecting many of its services and IT systems.

This is the latest attack to hit a UK local council in recent months – in February Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council said it had been hit by a ransomware attack, which cost it more than £10m.


EXPERTS COMMENTS
Dr. Anton Grashion, EMEA Director ,  Corelight
October 15, 2020
This kind of cyberattack underlines the importance of cybersecurity to every organization.
It's not as if we needed reminding, however, this kind of cyberattack underlines the importance of cybersecurity to every organization. While we don't know a huge amount of information regarding the attack thus far, anything that has the ability to impact on the frontline services of a council - in the current economic climate, and in a borough like Hackney - is a cause for concern. The provision ....
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Mike Puglia, Chief Strategy Officer ,  Kaseya
October 14, 2020
the rise of nation-state hackers has made ransomware threats even more dangerous and damaging.
From multinational corporations to small firms, no organisation is immune from the threat of cyberattacks like ransomware—and the rise of nation-state hackers has made ransomware threats even more dangerous and damaging. Public sector organisations are an attractive target for cybercriminals due to their use of legacy IT systems and the challenges they face with providing consistent, ongoing emp ....
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Sam Curry, Chief Security Officer,  Cybereason
October 14, 2020
The hackers have no shame and they will prey on organisations they think will pay their ransom demands.
The last revelations from Hackney Council being hit by a massive cyberattack is not surprising given the advantage that cyber adversaries have in the vast and connected world we live in today. The good news is that they are working closely with the NCSC to get to the bottom of the origins of the attack so that services can be restored as soon as possible. The bad news is that it could take days or ....
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Brian Higgins, Security Specialist,  Comparitech.com
October 14, 2020
Communities can beat criminals.
Any attack on Public Services, especially during what is shaping up to be a COVID second wave, is particularly heinous. The motivation, in this case, is also cause for concern. These kinds of attacks are most commonly associated with Ransomware but it is highly unlikely that any Public Body in the UK has either the financial resources or indeed the authority to pay their attackers. It may be that ....
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Jonathan Knudsen, Senior Security Strategist ,  Synopsys
October 14, 2020
Every organisation is a software organisation, even the Hackney Council in North London.
Every organisation is a software organisation, even the Hackney Council in North London. Consequently, every organisation must have a software security initiative (SSI). The purpose of the SSI is to set up policies and processes for protecting the organisation, detecting when attack is underway, responding quickly to any intrusion, and restoring systems and data after an attack. Business continu ....
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Rufus Grig, Chief Strategy Officer ,  Maintel
October 14, 2020
The Hackney Borough Council breach comes shortly after the similar hack of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.
The Hackney Borough Council breach comes shortly after the similar hack of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. It acts as yet another reminder that government bodies remain strong targets for hackers, due to the huge amounts of high-value personal and financial data they hold. While we don’t know the particulars of the Hackney Council breach, we do know that the outdated legacy systems that so ....
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Miles Tappin, VP of EMEA,  ThreatConnect
October 13, 2020
Scope the “who, what, when and why"
“Flip a coin – that’s basically the odds of any organisation being targeted. Unfortunately, the odds are even greater for government bodies, who are prime targets as they are often underequipped in terms of security protections and are also likely to be forced to pay the ransom to avoid hindering critical services. “Local councils, and other government bodies need to use this attack as ....
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Dean Ferrando, Systems Engineer Manager – EMEA,  Tripwire
October 13, 2020
To get security right, organisations need to get the basics right. Start by understanding the risk you have.
Local and national councils will always be a target for cybercriminals given the sensitive data they hold but truth of the matter is that many remain unprepared for a cyberattack. It’s difficult to prepare for something you don’t understand, can’t visualize, and haven’t experienced. You would have hoped that the devastation caused by NotPetya and WannaCry would have triggered an instant re ....
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Javvad Malik, Security Awareness Advocate,  KnowBe4
October 13, 2020
this is a ransomware attack, as those are the attacks which render systems unavailable like this
There is limited information at the moment, though it could be likely that this is a ransomware attack, as those are the attacks which render systems unavailable like this. However, regardless of the root cause, this unfortunate incident serves as a reminder as to how dependent society is on digital systems. Councils provide housing, healthcare, and support for the most vulnerable in society, havi ....
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Niamh Vianney Muldoon, Senior Director of Trust and Security, EMEA,  OneLogin
October 13, 2020
Organisations can also ascertain key learnings from crisis management tabletop exercises.
While there is little information revealed as to the cause and type of attack that has taken place on Hackney Council, we can only hope that pressing services, particularly to vulnerable residents, are not seriously impacted, and that all important documents have been backed up. This is a wake up call for all organisations to be vigilant, taking every measure to keep themselves safeguarded. This i ....
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Terry Greer-King, VP EMEA ,  SonicWall
October 13, 2020
When the source of the breach is discovered the council must fix the problem.
The cyberattack against Hackney Council shows that it’s not just private sector organisations that need to safeguard their systems against intrusion. In fact, public bodies often hold even more sensitive data than businesses, including information about citizens’ interactions with social care services and other sensitive Personal Identifiable Information (PII). As well as ensuring services re ....
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John Hurst, Head of Public Sector,  CyberArk
October 13, 2020
They need to get security right, particularly at a time when trust in public services is so critical.
This attack should come as no surprise. Public sector organisations have long been a prolific hunting ground for hackers. Of all the ICO fines for data breaches handed out since 2010, 54 percent have actually been levied against public sector bodies, with local councils specifically accounting for 30 fines. GDPR-inflicted fines and the direct practical effects of a cyber attack, including havin ....
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Francis Gaffney, Director of Threat Intelligence,  Mimecast
October 13, 2020
Public sector organisations have a direct responsibility for the running of the town, region, or country.
The ongoing and increasing number of attacks on public sector organisations continues to give cybersecurity professionals, at all levels, a cause for concern. Although an attack on private sector organisations can have significant consequences, there are few sectors that have the potential to impact as many lives, in as many ways, as the public sector. The public sector is an attractive target to ....
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Stuart Reed, UK Director,  Orange Cyberdefense
October 13, 2020
Unfortunately cyber criminals will often prey on organisations that they know are under pressure.
At a time when local councils are spending much of their time focused on issues relating to COVID-19, the last thing that they need is the stress that a cyber attack brings. Unfortunately cyber criminals will often prey on organisations that they know are under pressure, and while details of this particular incident have yet to be revealed, since the outbreak of the pandemic we have seen numerous ....
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