Cost of Redcar Council cyber-attack over-estimated

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image captionCouncil staff were left using pens and paper when the website was hacked

A council left without online services for weeks following a cyber-attack over-estimated the cost of the incident, it has been revealed.

Redcar and Cleveland Council initially put the figure at £10.4m after its computers and website were targeted in February last year.

However, following a financial impact assessment it has been reduced to £8.7m.

Staffing and IT costs were lower than expected, the council said.

A briefing note to council members said the task of quantifying the financial impact had been difficult, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

It added early estimates were "predicted on worst-case scenarios".

The hack left about 135,000 people without online access to public services and frontline council staff resorted to using pens and paper.

Appointment bookings, planning documents, social care advice and council housing complaints systems were all knocked offline, with experts from the UK's National Cyber Security Centre brought in to help restore them.

In April this year, it was announced the authority would receive £3.68m from the government to help towards the cost of rebuilding its systems, although critics said that amounted to "a tiny proportion of the support" initially promised.

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