Cyber attack may have caused County Council website shutdown

Hampshire County Council’s website was shut down for more than a day after being hit by a suspected cyberattack.

The site was off-line from Thursday morning until earlier today meaning residents were unable to book slots at recycling centres, access library services, report potholes, get transport information or deal with school or children’s services.

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said: “Hampshire County Council’s website was unavailable from 09:30am on Thursday 30 March until 10:20am on Friday 31 March.

“A decision was made to take the website offline as a precautionary measure after our IT monitoring tools alerted us to some suspicious activity that was impacting performance. The website was brought back online at 10:20am this morning following completion of our technical checks.”

Following the Russian attack on Ukraine last year, the National Cyber Security Centre – part of GCHQ – warned organisations to bolster their online defences.

The Times newspaper is currently reporting that computer systems have today stopped working at Capita, the outsourcing group that runs many important functions for the NHS and the military and may have been hit by a cyber-attack.

Yesterday The Guardian newspaper – itself a victim of a serious hacking attack recently – revealed details of a major Russian consultancy supporting Russian government and military offensive cyber operations.