Conficker lets hundreds of drivers escape traffic fines

More than a thousand drivers caught using bus lanes have escaped fines, after the Conficker worm hit Manchester City Council's town hall, according to a report.

The Manchester Evening News (MEN) reported that 1,609 tickets couldn't be issued within the 28-day legal limit, rendering them useless and costing the council more than 43,000 in lost bus lane fines.

Extracts from the council's own report revealed that Conficker cost Manchester City Council around 1.5 million, which included a 1.2 million IT department bill.

This included 600,000 for consultancy support and expertise, and another 600,000 to bring forward the purchase of Wyse Terminals as replacements for PCs.

There was also 178,000 in staffing costs, with most spent in covering the processing backlog for benefits. At the time, the council had no IT disaster recovery plan, which has now been addressed.

Conficker caused a serious amount of pain for IT and businesses this year, affecting businesses and public sector networks like that belonging to the House of Commons.

Manchester City Council was also rapped by the ICO recently for breaching the Data Protection Act after the loss of two laptop computers.

Manchester City Council has not replied to IT PRO's request for comment by the time of writing.

However, the MEN quotes head of IT Steve Park as saying: "I'd like to reassure the public that we've built on and improved our disaster recovery strategy, which covers all our main networks."

"This means that in the event of an emergency those key systems can be recovered with minimal disruption to the services involved."