Hackney Council Data Breach

Author:
Robert Godfrey
Partner, Head of Professional Negligence and Dispute Resolution
Date:
15/10/2020

Hackney Borough Council was hit by what they described as a “serious cyber attack” on Tuesday 13th October.

Latest reports show that documents including passport documents have been leaked online by a cyber criminal group, claiming to have stolen them from Hackney Council. 

Hackney Council are reportedly continuing to work with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the Ministry of Housing, local government and cyber security experts to assess the impact of the attack.

Large cyber attacks like this one can have serious consequences, both for Hackney Borough Council and for people in their ward. If you live in Hackney Borough, it’s important to minimise any potential damage to your personal data from this breach. You can read some of our tips on how to protect your data below.  

For initial legal advice on making a claim for GDPR Data Breach Compensation, get in touch with our Data Breach Solicitors today.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

What Hackney Council Data Has Been Breached?

Until Thursday 7th January, it wasn’t known if any personal data had been breached, but since then a cyber criminal group called Pysa/Mespinoza have posted personal documents online, which they claim to have stolen during the ransomware attack on Hackney Council. 

A ransomware attack is where hackers take over computer systems and data and demand money in exchange for unlocking them.

The documents were posted on a darknet website, where criminals publish a list of victims along with their stolen data. According to Sky News, the documents included file names such as “passportsdump”, “staffdata” and “PhotoID”, which suggests that they contained very personal information.

In a statement published on their website, Hackney Council said it was “utterly deplorable that organised criminals chose last year to deliberately attack Hackney…all while we were in the middle of responding to a global pandemic.”

They are “working closely with the police and other partners to assess any immediate actions we need to take.”

Even though it’s not yet clear if any personal data has been breached, the future impact of the cyber attack may not be felt straight away. So if you’re a Hackney Borough resident, it’s important to continue to keep a look out for anything suspicious, such as:

  • Unusual activity on your bank statements
  • An email saying there’s been an unknown or unusual login on one of your accounts

What Should I Do if I Think My Personal Data has been Breached?

  1. The first thing you should do is update your passwords, especially if you use the same one for more than one account.
  2. If you notice anything unusual on your bank accounts, contact your bank or credit card provider and report it to their fraud team.
  3. Wait to hear from Hackney Council – while you may want to contact the council right away, Hackney Council have asked customers to avoid contacting them unless absolutely necessary and have warned customers that their services “may be unavailable or slower than normal, and our call centre is extremely busy”.
  4. If your personal data has been compromised, you should hear from Hackney Council once they have more information. They’ll tell you if there’s anything you need to do next to keep your information and accounts safe.

Making a GDPR Data Breach Claim

If you find out your data was breached by Hackney Borough Council, we could help you. Get in touch with our Data Breach Solicitors for a free legal assessment. We’ll let you know if we think you’ve got grounds for a GDPR compensation claim.

If we can assist with your data breach claim we will do this on a No Win, No Fee basis. 

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