Council's Computer Virus

AN accidental power cut allowed a virus to bring down Woking Borough Council’s computer systems for four days last week.

The rogue virus attacked the authority's computer and telephone systems after the emergency power down button was accidentally pressed.

Problems surfaced on January 25 and meant staff could not access internal systems and programmes.

The situation continued until last Thursday (January 28) with phone lines out of action, calls being diverted to other borough council offices and services being offered at alternative council-owned properties.

Woking Borough Council’s chief executive, Ray Morgan, said: “Although our IT arrangements and the protective systems surrounding them have been approved by CESG (Communications Electronics Security Group), this incident has shown that we are not immune to a virus attack.

“As a result, we are working hard to look at how else we can defend our systems in the future.”

Mr Morgan added: “Thankfully, no data was compromised or lost as a result of this incident but we fully acknowledge that this situation caused disruption to both our partners and our customers.”

At a meeting of the council on Tuesday (February 2), Councillor Peter Ankers asked if the systems were now up and running again.

In response, Cllr Richard Wilson said: “After the power outage when the emergency power down button in the computer room was accidentally activated, some virus protection services did not restart correctly because the servers crashed and automatically powered up.

“All servers have been reviewed to ensure the anti-virus software is running and this will need to be repeated should there be a power outage in future.

“The emergency power down button in the computer room has now been shielded to prevent another accidental power outage.

“A meeting is being arranged with the supplier of the anti-virus software to review the issues which arose to ensure we have optimum virus protection in place for our environment.”

From www.getsurrey.co.uk

 
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