Home Tech St Helens Council in Merseyside hit by ransomware attack

St Helens Council in Merseyside hit by ransomware attack

St Helens Council in Merseyside hit by ransomware attack

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St Helens Borough Council is investigating a suspected ransomware incident focusing on its programs, and is advising residents to be on the alert for follow-on phishing attacks


Alex Scroxton,
Safety Editor

Published: 23 Aug 2023 12:51

St Helens Borough Council in Merseyside has fallen sufferer to a suspected ransomware attack, by an as-but undisclosed threat actor, that has brought down moderately about a programs all over its IT property, though the bulk of its customer-facing programs appear to dwell operational.

Full necessary functions of the cyber attack relish but to emerge, nonetheless the council has confirmed that its IT teams first diagnosed the intrusion two days within the past, on Monday 21 August, since when the council has engaged exterior cyber security increase and forensics to research extra.

“We are currently facing a suspected ransomware incident on the council’s IT programs and networks. Now we relish got now save in situation a various of security measures to connect our IT networks working safely,” a spokesperson talked about. 

“We are continuing to present council products and companies by way of our net online page. Some inner programs to the council are currently being affected attributable to the actions now we relish save in situation to quit any extra impact, and whereas a paunchy investigation is undertaken,” they beneficial Pc Weekly in an emailed observation.

“Please be reassured that alongside side our cyber security consultants we’re working to determine as a lot as the bottom of this incident, nonetheless obviously here’s an awfully advanced and evolving insist.” 

The council is telling residents to be aware of their very own on-line security and to be wary of any suspicious communications that can purport to be from the council. This could perhaps additionally merely suggest that non-public recordsdata, including contact necessary functions, has been exfiltrated right via the path of the cyber attack, though at the time of writing this became unconfirmed.

St Helens is dwelling to roughly 180,000 folk and is one of six native government districts within the Liverpool City Spot. It covers every suburban and rural areas, including the cities of Haydock, Newton-le-Willows, and St Helens itself, which is dwelling to the eponymous Rugby League crew.

Mike Newman, CEO of My1Login, an identity and access management (IAM) specialist, talked about: “Provided that this incident follows a long string of ransomware attacks on UK councils, St Helens must relish plans already in situation to maintain the incident quick and quit it inflicting catastrophic monetary losses, love we noticed when Hackney Council suffered a ransomware attack that worth the authority over £10m.

“Ransomware is the most successfully-known [form of] cyber attack this day and the amount of attacks are reaching document highs. It is miles key that everyone corporations, every public and non-public, prioritise their defences.”

Newman added: “With recordsdata continuously revealing that phishing and credential theft are two of the most typical attack vectors ancient to deploy ransomware, the incident extra reinforces the importance of organisations shifting away from password-based security mechanisms, and bettering their cyber defences via passwordless [authentication], the save there don’t seem to be any passwords to be stolen or phished from workers.

“By taking away passwords from workers, this closes the door on ransomware’s most steadily ancient attack vector and vastly bolsters cyber defences.”

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