A cyber criminal group has posted what it claims are documents stolen from Hackney Council in a ransomware attack last year.
The council in East London was hit by what it described as a “serious cyber attack” in October. It reported itself to the data watchdog due to the risk criminals accessed staff and residents’ data.
The council said it was working with the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Ministry of Housing to investigate and understand the impact of the incident.
Although the extent of the data breach was never confirmed by the council, a criminal group known as Pysa/Mespinoza by security researchers has now published what it claims to be a range of sensitive information held by the authority.
The file names of the documents suggest the stolen files contain very sensitive information, including those with titles such as “passportsdump”, “staffdata” and “PhotoID”.
These documents were posted on a darknet website hosted by the criminals in which they list their victims and publish stolen data for extortion purposes.
A spokesperson for Hackney Council said: “We are angry and disappointed that the organised criminals responsible for October’s cyberattack have chosen to publish data stolen in October.
“We are working with the NCSC, National Crime Agency, Information Commissioner’s Office, the Metropolitan Police and other experts to investigate what has been published and take immediate action where necessary.
“We understand and share the concern of residents about any risk to their personal data, and we are working as quickly as possible with our partners to assess the data and take action, including informing people who are affected…”