Lincolnshire council systems on the mend six days after Bitcoin ‘ransomware’ attack

Information officers at Lincolnshire County Council have promised that IT networks will be restored by Monday, almost a week after a malicious cyberattack shut down systems.

As previously reported, staff at the council received the ‘ransomware’ attack disguised as an email invoice on January 26, bringing up the message ‘give us a million pounds’.

As a precaution, and while work continued to eradicate the malware from affected computers, IT systems were shut down.

While the majority of data stores were accessed, the council confirmed no data has been lost as a result of the security breach.

Officers have gathered further evidence over the weekend that the malware was demanding 500$ in Bitcoin (a digital asset and payment system), which would increase if not paid.

Lincolnshire Police have also been working with the council to identify the origin of the attack.

Judith Hertherington Smith, Chief Information Officer at the county council, said: “Although the computer malware was originally identified as a £1m demand, we now have further evidence which I have seen and it was initially only asking for 500$ in Bit coin.

“Of course, this would increase overtime if not paid, but as a public authority this was something we were never going to do.

“We immediately took action to look after all our data and closed down our systems so they couldn’t be compromised.

“I am pleased to be able to say that we are now at a stage where we are restoring services and when staff come back into work on Monday morning the majority of the systems will be up and running.”