William Eichler 07 February 2017

Devon town council held to ransom by hackers

Devon town council held to ransom by hackers image

A town council in Devon has been held to ransom by hackers demanding thousands of pounds in return for public documents.

A clerk at Tiverton Town Council in Devon mistakenly opened a ‘phishing’ email which resulted in a virus being uploaded onto the council’s computer system.

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

The clerk, a Mr John Vanderwolfe, said the data could be unblocked in exchange for £3,000, but he said he refuses to pay it.

Mr Vanderwolfe also noted the back-up failed

‘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,’ he said.

‘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,’ he added.

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