Devon town council hacked

A town council in Devon has been held to ransom by hackers demanding £3,000 in return for public data.

The hack resulted after a clerk at Tiverton Town Council mistakenly opened a ‘phishing’ email which carried a trojan virus, enabling it to be uploaded onto the council’s computer system.

The virus captured a number of the council’s documents, dating back to 2015, but did not affect financial or planning records.

The clerk involved claimed the data could be unblocked in exchange for £3,000, but refused to pay it.

Commenting on the hack, the clerk said: “Its unfortunate that the back-up system, which we thought was pumping away and backing everything up, seemed to also have lost life, so there’s quite a bit of stuff we’ve got to do.

“We’ll look to the future to see how we can improve things. And naturally we’ve brought in better back-up systems. But it’s a little bit like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.

“I think its a warning to everyone."