Systems lockdown continues at Lincolnshire council after ‘ransomware’ holds data for £1m

IT systems at Lincolnshire County Council remain shut down for a fourth day after data was accessed by a malicious malware attack which demanded £1 million.

The attack, which began in the afternoon of January 26 and was delivered to a number of council staff in the form of an email, reportedly held the majority of the council’s data stores at ransom.

It’s the first time a software attack has successfully breached systems at the county council and work has been ongoing to remove and cleanse the malware from infected computers.

No data has been lost by the breach, alleged to be a ‘0-day attack’.

The council has security systems in place to deal with this sort of incident, which were immediately enforced.

A Lincolnshire County Council spokesperson said: “All IT systems are closed as a precaution while we work to fix the issue.

“The malware blocked our access to data. It’s what’s known as ‘ransomware’ and held data while demanding £1 million.

“The council has never been successfully targeted by this kind of attack before.”

The name or origin of the malware that has affected the system is unconfirmed at this stage.

The council have however confirmed the ransomware was not CryptoLocker.

A number of local services have been impacted by the attack including the Call Connect Service and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.

A council spokesperson added: “Most front line services are unaffected. Those which are are having email issues and should still be reachable by phone.”