SUSPECTED HACK: Island services hit as Comhairle IT system disrupted by ‘ransomeware attack’

Access to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s IT system has been affected by an incident which caused significant disruption.

In a suspected ransomware attack – where access to data or devices is blocked until a ransom is paid – on Tuesday, the comhairle’s priority was the “continued delivery of services to those in our communities who need them most.” 

A statement added: “Work is underway to redirect public phone numbers which will allow key services to be contacted. We will update the public regularly on the progression of this work and provide details of any further impacts to service delivery.

“The comhairle is now engaging with Scottish Government and taking professional advice to establish the root cause of the incident and identify necessary actions.”

On Wednesday, a statement from Jude McCorry, chief executive of Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland, said:  “Data breaches can be caused by many factors, and one of the most common causes is cyber attack.

“This impacts organisations large and small, as well as affecting individuals. If any organisations in Scotland need support to mitigate the impacts of an attack, our free Incident response helpline is available on 0800 167 0623.

“If you are concerned your organisation has been the victim of a cyber attack or data breach, please ensure that you report the incident to Police Scotland on 101.

“You can also call our free helpline, and our team will provide expert guidance to help you resume operations.

“If you are an individual and think your data may have been stolen in a data breach, you can take some simple steps to mitigate the impact such as being alert to phishing attacks, safeguarding other online accounts and monitoring your bank account for suspicious activity.”