In a move which will be of keen interest to the growing cyber insurance market, the UK’s Redcar and Cleveland Council is to receive a multi-million support package from the government to help it recover from a recent cyber-attack.
The council is to receive £3.68 million from the government to help towards the cost of rebuilding its systems.
About 135,000 people were without online public services after Redcar and Cleveland’s website and computers were targeted in February.
The attack was estimated to have cost the council some £10 million, with the authority having to foot the remainder of the bill itself.
It said no ransom was paid to the hackers.
Experts from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) had to be drafted in to help restore appointment bookings, planning documents, social care advice and council housing complaints systems that had been knocked offline in February last year.
The council said the money to be provided by the government would help replenish its reserves, which had been used to restore its online systems.
It declined to say whether any services would be affected as a result of covering the remainder of the bill.
Commenting on the support, Council leader Mary Lanigan, who heads a coalition of independents and Liberal Democrats, said: “We are pleased that the government recognised the unique circumstances under which we requested support, and awarded grant funding, rightly distinguishing the criminal ransomware attack suffered by the council from the financial rescue packages of some other local authorities where permission to borrow has been granted.
“No money was handed over to these criminals and we continue to hope that they will eventually be brought to justice.”
Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Simon Clarke, a Conservative, described the settlement as “exceptionally generous”.
Fellow Tory Jacob Young, MP for Redcar, said it would “go some way to restoring the hit on the council’s finances”.