Herts County Council subject to ‘targeted phishing attack’

By Deborah Price - Local Democracy Reporter

18th Jul 2023 | Local News

Cyber attacks are being launched against Hertfordshire County Council. PICTURE CREDIT: Herts CC
Cyber attacks are being launched against Hertfordshire County Council. PICTURE CREDIT: Herts CC

INCREASING numbers of cyber attacks are being launched against Hertfordshire County Council, councillors have been told.

And earlier this year, council staff were targeted 'by a malicious email' phishing attack 'that could have caused significant impact'.

In all cases – say council chiefs – the cyber attacks were repelled or contained.

Cyber security was among the performance issues raised at a meeting of the resources and performance cabinet panel.

Particularly highlighted at the meeting was the 'targeted phishing attack' in late March.

But councillors were assured that the attack was contained. No data, they were told, was breached and there was no threat to council data.

"HCC continues to utilise strong security controls through people, processes and technology to limit and mitigate threats against its network," said the report to the cabinet panel.

"While these controls have continued to protect HCC and its data the Council continues to experience an increase in attempts to target its users through email containing malicious links and attachments.

"Through the use of security software and streamlining our processes, Technology is able to identify, contain and mitigate these threats before the Council is compromised.

"In late March HCC was targeted by a malicious email. The issue was contained with no impact."

Following the meeting a spokesperson for the county council acknowledged that the attack could have caused 'significant imoact'.

And she said it was a reminder of the increasing attempts to target council data.

"In March 2023 the council was targeted by a malicious email, which could have caused significant impact," said the spokesperson.

"Due to strong security controls through people, processes and technology the cyber attack was identified in a timely way and the issue was contained with no impact.

"The incident was highlighted in the quarterly reports as an example.

"It is a reminder that while current controls and measures this quarter have been sufficient to protect the council and its data, it does continue to experience an increase in attempts to target its users."

     

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