Redcar cyber-attack: System 'could be down for weeks'

Redcar and Cleveland Council Image copyright Google
Image caption Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's systems were hit almost two weeks ago

It could be weeks before online services resume at a council which was hit by a cyber-attack.

Systems at Redcar and Cleveland Council have been down for almost two weeks, amid fears it has fallen victim to a ransomware attack, where files are scrambled until a ransom is paid.

Council leader Mary Lanigan said officers were concentrating on getting its critical services up.

However, it could be "more than a few weeks" before it was back to normal.

Ms Lanigan said: "The staff are being amazing, officers are working seven days a week, everyone is pushing.

"We're making some progress, but we think this may be longer term, a few weeks, and it may even take longer than that."

'Sanctioning fears'

The attack has caused problems for some of the authority's 135,000 residents.

One jobseeker told BBC Radio Tees he usually relied on computers at the local library because he does not have any internet at home, but they were currently out of service.

He said: "There's quite a few people I see [in the library] and they're worried about it, whether they are going to get sanctioned.

"I'm not trying to get out of looking for jobs, I'll pay to get [online] if I have to."

Image caption There has been an impact on residents who use council services

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, said: "The government has offered to help as much as they can in alleviating whatever fall-out there is from this.

"The National Cyber Security Centre said the council couldn't have done any more when it comes to firewalls and things like that, the system was as protected as they could have been.

"It's an incredibly difficult situation but the council is working flat out."

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