Redcar and Cleveland council hack damages exceed £10.4m

Hands on keyboard

A cyber attack on a local council's IT systems is estimated to have cost in the region of £10.4 million, according to new figures.

Redcar and Cleveland borough council has been under pressure to reveal the cost of an attack that took down its website and local services in February, according to the BBC.

Remedial and replacement work for the council's IT infrastructure made up £2.4 million of the overall cost, according to figures given in its budget report. The local authority is in discussion with the government to help cover the financial impact of the attack.

Some 135,000 residents were cut off from public services in February during the hack, affecting online appointments, access to planning documents, social care advice, and the council's housing systems. The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) was ultimately brought in to help bring services back online.

The exact nature of the attack, and the steps taken to fix the damage, haven't been revealed by either Recar and Cleveland council or the NCSC, and the incident is still the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. At the time, there was a suggestion that it resembled a ransomware attack, but there has been no official confirmation of this.

According to the report, at the time of the attack, the council had "industry-standard tools" used to secure its computer network, which were configured to provide "optimum protection".

The estimation of £10.4 million has been given to the government to assist a due diligence process with an agreement to provide Redcar and Cleveland with support, according to the budget report.

Individual departmental costs amounted to £3.4 million, while computer systems being out of action resulted in a reduction in enforcement income and a reduction in the amount of council tax and business rates being collected, causing a further £1 million in losses, according to the council.

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

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