Home   News   Article

Lincolnshire County Council offer reassurances that your data ‘has not been compromised’ over malware attack

Lincolnshire County Council news.
Lincolnshire County Council news.

Lincolnshire County Council has offered reassurances over a malware attack which hit its systems this week and has promised it will not be paying any money to those responsible.

The authority was infected by a ‘ransomware’ attack on Tuesday after a staff member opened an email with a document attached, unleashing the software which locked the authority out of data including social care.

However, the authority is confident it is working to fix the situation and will have the malware dealt with by Monday - social care data has already been unlocked.

Judith Hetherington-Smith, chief information and commissioning officer for the county council, said: “As soon as we spotted it systems were shut down to ensure personal data could not be compromised.”

The virus included a message asking the council to pay £1 million to unlock the data.

She added; “The council is not going to be doing that. We have no intention of paying a ransom.”

She reassured residents that ‘they [the culprits] haven’t had access to our data. Our data has remained secure at all times’.

Ms Hetherington-Smith described the email as one with a ‘document’ in it and confirmed a staff member had opened it.

She said: “It was a mistake that people do make, it’s unfortunate but people make mistakes occasionally.”

She told the newspaper that staff have compulsory training in IT and emails warning of dangers surrounding viruses were sent out regularly every three or four weeks - adding that this would be upped in response to the latest incident.

“The important thing is to remind staff that if they are in any doubt, don’t mess with email you’re not sure about. If in doubt, delete, is the most important thing.”

Ms Hetherington-Smith added that the cost of dealing with the attack had been covered by existing contracts with both the in-house IT team and a private firm the council already uses - meaning there would be no extra cost to the tax payer.

She concluded: “The big points are to reassure peopel we are absolutely looking after their data and that hasn’t been compromised.

“We would also like to thank them for their patience.”


Iliffe Media does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.


Terms of Comments

We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.

If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More