Eviction fears as cyber attack leaves Hackney Council unable to pay housing benefit

Eviction fears as cyber attack leaves Hackney Council unable to pay housing benefit.

The news is a huge concern for private renters in Hackney who could find themseves evicted if payments are not made after the council announced “significant” problems as a result of the cyber attack.

The attack on Tuesday morning, October 13 has left many of the local authority’s services and IT systems unavailable.

In a statement, Hackney Council said “it is currently unable to make some payments including discretionary housing payments, certain supplier payments, housing benefit”.

Those still waiting for payments are advised to contact the council directly.

The statement continued: “Hackney Council services are currently significantly disrupted due to a serious cyberattack, and you may experience difficulty contacting us or using our services.

“Key essential services, including our coronavirus response, continue to operate, but some of our services may be unavailable or disrupted for some time.

“Council staff are working hard to restore services, protect data and investigate the attack with the National Cyber Security Centre, National Crime Agency and external experts.

“Residents and businesses are asked to avoid contacting us unless absolutely necessary – but our phone lines remain open for essential help and advice and emergency support.

Council staff are working with the National Cyber Security Centre, National Crime Agency, external experts and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government “to investigate and understand the impact of the cyberattack”.

The local authority has reported a data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office, and said “we are committed to sharing further information about this as soon as we can, including what, if any, actions residents may need to take”.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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